Martha’s Lemonade · 19 March 2016

Photo courtesy Sue Bean

There are some people who live the phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” My friend Martha Patterson was one of those people.

Martha lived a hard life in many respects. Or at least she had a rough start. She had an “overbearing mother” who caused her much grief, but who she did forgive through the love of Christ. She had to start over a time or two, but found her calling as a licensed practical nurse and caregiver. She buried two husbands, but raised a beautiful daughter who gave her beautiful grandkids and great-grandkids. She had Parkinson’s and suffered from dementia as she aged, but went peacefully back to her Savior’s arms as her daughter held her hand.

Yes, life gave Martha many lemons, but she ended up making batch after batch of lemonade.

Martha was a firecracker. She was frank and told it like it is. She did not mince words. And she told us all to get down on our knees when life got tough. Jesus would certainly bring us through. After all, He had always been faithful to her. Sometimes, she would even wag her finger at me when she was telling me something important like that.

One of the greatest gifts Martha gave to everybody she knew was her smile. She smiled with her whole being, especially, her eyes. Whenever we saw each other, her eyes would light up. And after long spells, usually just a couple weeks, she would say to me, “I missed your smile,” but it was I who missed hers even more.

Martha gave me a book of devotionals called, Streams in the Desert. I did not realize why it was so important to her until I thought about her life. Much of her life before I met her was a desert. She had been parched and needed the life-giving sustenance of water that only Jesus can bring. And that book showed her each day that others had gone before her and experienced the desert too. Others had found life-giving water from knowing their Savior. From reading His word.

I never realized it before, but after Martha gave me the book, we had a different connection. She would ask me whether I thought some devotional or other was particularly meaningful at the time. And we would chat for a moment or two about that. I realize now that because the book had specific devotions for specific days, we were reading the same pages of the same book on the same days.

Unlike Martha, I have not had to make batches and batches of lemonade. But I am so glad that I got to meet and know such a special woman. Such a special child of God. And when I come to the desert and need a refreshing drink of lemonade, I will remember Martha. And when I see her daughter, Sue, or any of the grandkids or great-grandkids, I will see Martha and her precious Jesus’ smile.

I will miss my friend, but when life gives me lemons, I will remember to make a batch of Martha’s lemonade.

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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