One Hidden Arrow with No Need for a Bucket List

She would be embarrassed if I mentioned her name, and propriety dictates that it would be inappropriate to do so anyway. I hesitate to call her “anonymous” but maybe “Ann” in lieu of “Ann Nonimus” will do for now. Ann is a tiny widow, a soon to be an octogenarian, and a tireless servant of Jesus Christ. Over the past several years, she’s invested herself quietly in the lives of incarcerated women, women who seem beyond hope, the kind of women you know but wished you didn’t, the kind who represent the worst elements in our society.

Ann shuns the light others would shine on her. But her life shines with the beauty of Christ, and shines most brightly on the broken women she has helped mentor into followers of Jesus Christ. Her commitment to Him and to them never ends with a jailhouse conversion. She remains committed to those who graduate from iron bars and need a hand up to live successfully on the outside. But her prison ministry is not what I will remember her for. No, if I were to identify Ann’s greatest virtue, I’d point to her devotion to prayer.  When Ann talks to God, He listens! Her honesty with God in prayer even in group settings is disarming and real.

But now Ann has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She has been given less than six months to live with us. Ann is about to embark on a trip with a friend to take in a few special sites, while she still has a measure of strength. But, it is more about her friend than it is about Ann. The truth is, as she told me last evening, with a smile that was wall to wall, “There are several who are praying for me, but I’m ready to go!” Ann has no bucket list, nor does she want or need one. She knows her destination. She is going to see Jesus, the consummate lover of her soul. She is headed to place called “Home.” She has reserved for her an inheritance in heaven that will not spoil or fade. There Ann will gaze upon her Savior’s unspeakable beauty,  knowing the fullness of His joy. There is no shred of fear, worry or anxiety in her, because Ann has been and remains quite content to live her life as a smooth arrow hidden in the Savior’s quiver.

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Ed presently serves as the Lead Pastor of Leesburg Alliance Church, Leesburg, FL. He has had over 30 years of ministry experience, sixteen of them at Greenwoods Community Church in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. More recently he has fulfilled transitional interim assignments for the Alliance Southeast of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Englewood and Spring Hill, Florida. In addition, Ed has had nearly 13 years of experience in the field of geriatric healthcare. His wife, Lynn, is a true partner in ministry, having served Greenwoods Community Church as its Children's Ministry Coordinator for over ten years. She is a decorator, colorist, instructor in furniture painting, and an artist in her own right. For over 20 years she had her own business, Whimsical Brushes, teaching and traveling throughout the Northeast. Ed’s passion and heartfelt prayer remains for genuine revival and awakening in our nation. One of the keys to past workings of God especially in New England has been related to pastors mentoring pastors. God has given Ed a burden to be a mentor pastor, developing leaders for the church in the 21st Century. One way in which he is fulfilling that calling is through Rockbridge Seminary, where he serves as an adjunct professor of Spiritual Formation. Ed has earned degrees from Cairn University (B.S. 1971), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M. 1979), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min. 2007). He has published several articles on the Spiritual Heritage of Litchfield County, Connecticut, and led several tours of sites associated with the Village Revivals that spawned the Second Great Awakening in New England. In his spare time, you are likely to find Ed at the piano or pecking out a blog on his blog page

One thought on “One Hidden Arrow with No Need for a Bucket List”

  1. Dr. E., What a legacy of a Saint who walked among us! I will add ‘Ann’ to the list of the most humble people I know (or have read about) who do the most for the Kingdom of God here on earth. She has walked out the example of a humble servant that Jesus modeled. I pray the time left to her on this side of heaven continues to be a blessing to many as reading her story has blessed me.


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