I’m sitting in the balcony of the church in Marietta, Georgia, and I’m unrolling my “homework,” my butcher paper art–the entire book of Revelation, colored pictures on a scroll. And we stretch it out and down the row, and she looks up and nods and applauds. Nine months we live in that book, and she carries me from “In the beginning” to the last “Amen.”
That’s the last year she drives weekly from Chattanooga. So we gather friends and organize a Romans study in our church. And I can’t get enough.
We’re called to move to a new home in Tampa, and I fight it. But I find DeeDee, and she’s got me leading a Precept group there. Then I’m sitting in the airport hugging Kay.
I’m in Chattanooga at the “ranch” taking notes on Philippians and memorizing the humility verses. She’s describing the crucifixion, and a storm is blowing, and it seems like the lights go out for a moment, but I can’t remember for sure. Maybe everything goes dark just before the light blazes.
The air presses in on me, and I can’t breathe.
She teaches me how to uncover treasure for myself, to test what others tell me.
Once she shook her fist in God’s face and hissed, “To hell with you God.” Now she crams colored pencils in my fist and says (basically), “Go forth, and mark up your Bible. Get to know the God who went to hell for you.”
The words become life to me. My home and my hope are here in these pages.
She teaches me about lists and comparisons and contrasts and color-coding and verb tenses and moods and voices and how to make my own chain references and how to study from a Bible without notes–because the Holy Spirit alone can teach me.
And my Bible falls apart.
She teaches me about God’s character and His sovereignty and oh, how that’s held me through so many questions and regrets.
She’s a nurse, too, so I feel an extra special bond. She calls me a co-laborer, and she assures me that nothing I do in the Lord is in vain.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. ~2 Corinthians 15:58
I dream of walking with her in the Holy Land, hearing her teach from the places Jesus walked and talked and prayed and rested–and died. And I pray for the miraculous provision of finances that will let me do this while she and I both can.
Kay Arthur, co-founder of Precept Ministries International, is my faith heroine, and I thank God for her and for the love of the Word she birthed in me, for how she’s helped me learn how to know God.
And one more thing. She’s 81 years old now and looks at least 20 years younger. I want to keep drinking the same water.
Sandra Heska King (AKA Snady AKA SHK) lives in Michigan and writes from a 150-plus-year-old family farmhouse set on 60-plus acres surrounded by corn or soybeans or sometimes wheat. She’s a camera-toting, recovering doer who’s learning to just. be. still.
Sandra blogs at sandraheskaking.com and sometimes spills words in other places across the Internet. She’s a “poetry barista” (AKA social media associate) at Tweetspeak Poetry and has been a featured writer at The High Calling. You can catch up with her on Facebook and Twitter.
This post is part of the My Faith Heroine Series in conjunction with the release of 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith. Click here to read other posts in the #MyFaithHeroine series.