Recently I was looking in a drawer and came upon two pieces of paper. One was a note typed on a typewriter written to two different groups of people. The first group she counted as her “friends in Christ” and the second group she lovingly called her “friends without Christ.” To her friends in Christ she said, “I thank you all for the part you have had in my life, for prayers, for words of encouragement, and just for your friendship.” She encouraged this group to “keep fighting the fight of faith.” She closed with “See you in the Lord’s time, by the Blood, For His Praise, in glory, Joyfully, Shirley.” She was teaching and encouraging even in her final words to these friends.

She said something different and used more words to talk to her “friends without Christ.” One thing she said was “I really didn’t try to upset you, or make things hard on you, but mostly I did and said things to make you THINK FOR YOURSELF.” (The capital letters are in mom’s original!) She then continued with “THINK about yourself, THINK about your soul and your real need of salvation.” She then shared the simple gospel. We are sinners and under God’s wrath. But God, rich in mercy, sent His only Son Jesus “to die for all your sins, and mine.

Mom was seeking to speak and teach even from the grave. Her passion was that truth would be received and that people would seriously think about the truth. She closed her note to her second group of friends this way (which also teaches): “Your friend, Saved by his grace, Kept by his grace, and Satisfied in Him, Shirley Winquist.” That closing line is the gospel, taught and lived by mom. I dare not forget my mother’s teaching.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9