As a consequence of having diabetes, Loraner’s eyesight was poor. Her daughter, Shirley, helped her with the Bible study lesson each weak by reading aloud the questions and Scripture passages and then writing down Loraner’s answers. In the discussion group, Loraner loved to share her answers and when she did, the rest of us were all ears. Sometimes she remembered her answers, but when she didn’t one of the ladies sitting next to her would read it for her. It was a special treat and privilege to sit next to Loraner.
Loraner also had trouble with circulation in her feet. This was due to the diabetes also. She used a cane when she walked, in addition to the arm of a willing woman in our group. Several times Loraner was hospitalized as a result of the diabetic neuropathy in her feet, and it was a joy and a blessing to visit her. She always had a big smile and comforting words for visitors. I loved visiting with Loraner and learning from her what it means to be a woman of God.
I was blessed to know this amazing woman for many years before she went to be with the Lord, and on the day of her memorial service I was inspired to write a poem about Loraner. This past week I was doing some “spring cleaning” and going through stacks of papers stored away in boxes. I found the poem I wrote about Loraner and thought I would share it with you today. Here it is.
When I grow old I want to go to church every Sunday and sit in the front row
I want my presence to be an encouragement to the pastor, the choir, and everyone who sits around me
I want to smile big and often and I want people to see Jesus when they look at me
I want to glow
I want to take advantage of every opportunity to know the Lord better
I want to be eager to learn
I want to give big bear hugs to everyone who needs them
I want to laugh with gusto, even at myself
I want to inspire my children and grandchildren to love one another and to love
I want to be hospitable so people will feel welcome in my home
I want to be grateful, even for the littlest things
I want to have patience, even with those who don’t deserve it
I want to be able to say the right words at the right time
to people in need
I want to have a heart as big as all outdoors
I want to have faith like Sarah and Abraham
I want to have endurance like Moses
I want to have courage like Deborah and Rahab
I want to stand on the Lord’s side in the face of incredible odds like Joshua and Caleb
I want to be a beautiful example of cheerful courage to everyone
I want people to stand in awe and say “Doesn’t she have an amazing God!”
I want to be all these things --I want to be like Loraner
Well, why wait until I’m old
Why don’t I start right now -- get some good practice
And maybe I’ll be able to at least come close
By the time I’m old!