Originally Written January 9, 2012
I got word earlier today that a dear ate and Sunday school mentor of mine has had the privilege of being with the Lord earlier than expected. She has been battling with cancer for quite some time now, and the immune system compromise that comes along with it has taken its toll.
Ate Leni became our Sunday school teacher during our late elementary and early high school years. We used to hold classes at DBC’s prayer room cum parsonage. At one point, we convinced her to do a series on Revelations, unarguably one of the most difficult books in the bible. To our surprise, she agreed, and tried her best to make our pre-teen minds understand eschatology – with all those dragons, beasts, and numbers.
Though I cannot remember much of our nosebleeding lessons, at this point I am amazed as I ponder how committed she was to teach us (then) youngsters week after week, after week. Aside from that, she also treated us more like adults than like little children.
Though I cannot remember most of the lessons she taught in words, I will take with me the lessons I learned from her life:
1. That God is ever faithful, merciful, and gracious
2. That joy is never a function of our circumstances
3. That suffering is a reason for rejoicing as it produces in us perseverance, and a greater understanding of our Lord’s own sufferings
“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead”
I went to her funeral and got to meet common friends that I have not seen in years, or even a decade or more. Though the people expressed grief, they were mostly smiling and were still able to laugh – thanks mostly to the assurance that she is truly with the Lord. This is in stark contrast to all her contemporaries in the adjacent rooms in Arlington, where people were either quiet or crying.
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”[a]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
-1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (NIV)
Thank you for the lessons.
Until we meet again…