COLS Mrs. Minnie Mae Payne

David said in Psalm 116:15, Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones {saints}. The NIRV reads, “The LORD pays special attention when His faithful ones die.” Of course Mrs. Minnie Mae is not dead, it appears that she is but that is an illusion. Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life, anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Matter of fact, Jesus said, Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. There is no death in His presence. He is the resurrection and the life. The only death in eternity is the second death which is a result of rejecting Jesus. It is an eternal separation from God, otherwise, there is no death in eternity. Jesus told the Sadduccees, 

37 “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’

38 So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”

So, we are not mourning Mrs. Payne’s death, we are celebrating her life. Her life on earth has passed as will ours but she is more alive today than ever. I love John Newton the author of AMAZING GRACE. His last words were: I am in the world of the dying but I am going to the world of the living.” We have funeral homes here on earth but there are none in heaven, it is the land of the living.

When I think about Mrs. Minnie Mae’s life here with us, the one word that comes to my mind is LOVE. In honor of her, I want to read a portion of I Corinthians 13 from the New International Readers Version:

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud

5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Mrs. Minne Mae epitomized this love that Paul so eloquently describes. With the one exception of Jesus, there is nothing in this world like a mother’s love. I’m going to have to be honest today. There are a lot of things that I don’t remember. I do remember Daddy Bob. I remember his kindness, his gentleness. I remember that he was always at Melonie and Jamie’s ball games. He never missed. I remember that he was like a father to Judy. I also remember that he loved to fish. BUT…

I do not remember his COLS. I do not remember what I said at that service. I do not remember writting a poem about Daddy Bob but the girls remembered and perhaps Mrs. Payne did also. I don’t know. For some strange reason that I do not understand, Mrs. Payne loved me much more than I realized. As a matter of fact, I had no idea that this woman loved me unconditionally until Bro. Steve started picking at me in front of others which he should not have done. He said, “We have a lady in our church who loves Bro. Jack. She tells me that he is her favorite preacher.” He said that in front of a group of men but he would not tell me who he was talking about. It was probably a year later, on a Wednesday night that Jan and I figured it out.

Children, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated your mother’s love. You would have to be a preacher to understand. Preachers don’t have a lot of friends, not when it comes to defending your integrity or honor. Jan gave me the deiciding clue when she said, “No one had better critizise you around my mother.”Do you know what most Baptist do when their pastor is critizise, they pile on. CHILDREN remember, your mother was special to me and I can say that, I am retired. She was special simply because she loved me unconditioally just like she loved you. I FILL BLESSED. 

Before I sit down: I want to wash Bro. Steve’s feet although he did me wrong by keeping me in suspense and bringing this up in front of a group of men. Bro. Steve is a great pastor as his people know. He went above and beyond with Mrs. Minnie Mae. He used his vacation time to look up one of her all friends and then he brought back pictures for Mrs. Payne. He made her day. Mrs. Minnie Mae loved him too, she seemed to have an infinite supply of love, just like her SAVIOR


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