Literally. Today, another story about someone who used her "off season" well.
Virginia was a simple woman in many ways. She raised her four children and took care of her husband Tom. They had a son who needed special encouragement and she provided that until the day she died.
I first got to know Virginia as part of our church. She volunteered in some of our Children's Ministries. This quiet, unassuming lady was stable and faithful. She knew how to express concerns without complaining. She had a winsome smile and regularly encouraged those around her.
Long after that time in life when many people focus only upon themselves, Virginia put her talents to work. At some point she had learned to "stamp" cards. "Stamp cards?" you ask. "You mean put stamps on them before they are placed in the mail?"
No. Stamping cards is a simple as taking nice card stock and using specialized stamps and ink to create beautiful, handmade greeting cards.
Virginia's love was shared by one or two ladies at our church. Soon, an entire "Women's Card Ministry" was born. A number of ladies of various ages began congregating once a month and creating encouragement cards for people who need them. The cards are often accompanied with personal prayer for the recipient.
One day several years ago I stopped by Virginia's house to check on her because of a family need. It was about two weeks before Valentine's Day. Virginia, who could have been fretting and grieving at the time, was at her table creating personalized Valentines. Stacks of them.
"What are you working on, Virginia?" I inquired.
She replied, "The people in the nursing home nearby are usually forgotten on days like Valentine's Day. I'm making each of them a little card that will be placed on their food tray at lunch. They need to know they are special."
Virginia was well into her seventies when that conversation took place. She passed away last year.
She stayed active helping people know "they are special" until the very end.