Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Mitzi Ruwadi

Mitzi Ruwadi, July 5, 2018
Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 23
John 10:11-16

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

I do not know much about Mitzi’s life other than what I have heard from others, or read in her obituary.  Her active years at St. Timothy Church happened before I got there, but I’ve been her priest for about two years.  I’ve visited her and Ray a few times, more frequently in the final weeks of her life.  But there are two things I know for certain about Mitzi.

First, she loved taking communion.  I don’t think she had the words for why the sacrament mattered so much to her—and, if I’m honest, I feel the same way.  She had a deeply spiritual experience every time she took communion, and it was an honor for me to be the one to bring it to her.

The second thing I know about Mitzi is that she loved the 23rd Psalm.  And many of us share her love of that little piece of poetry.  Maybe it’s the pastoral imagery.  Or maybe it’s the assurance of God’s presence in our lives.  Or may it’s just that final line, about dwelling in the house of the Lord forever.

But what I really love about Psalm 23 is the actual language of the part that gets translated as goodness and mercy following me.  The Hebrew word that becomes “following” is actually more like chasing, or hunting down.  Goodness and mercy don’t follow us, like a stray kitten.  No, God’s goodness and mercy hunt us down like a tiger.  We cannot escape them, even if we wanted to.

Mitzi lived her life hunted down by God’s mercy and goodness, and she did not mind getting caught.  And receiving that goodness and mercy from God, she turned right around and passed it on to others, her family, and friends, and fur babies, and of course her wonderful home health aids.  Mitzi responded to God’s love by passing it on to others, and I hope you will take inspiration from that and continue to do the same in your own lives.

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”  Mitzi knows her shepherd, and her shepherd knows her.  May God give us all the grace to hear the Shepherd’s voice, and to be led to lie down in green pastures beside still waters, where Mitzi now rests in peace.


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