Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. – I Corinthians 15:58b NIV

One of the women who attended our church died unexpectedly. Melinda was twenty-five years old, but had suffered with terrible seizures from birth, which affected her mental capacity. Just two days before her death, she brought me a picture torn out of a coloring book. She had filled the page with scribbles of bright blue, red, and green crayon.

Although she never knew it, Melinda taught me about being consistent. She never missed a church service. I know there were times when she didn\’t feel her best, but she persevered. Have there been times I stayed home from church even though I could easily have gone?

Melinda was caring. In the last couple of years, she had acquired a job in a program for people with special needs. Every Thursday night in our midweek service, when the pastor asked for prayer requests, Melinda\’s hand shot up and stayed there until he called on her – even if it was ten minutes later! When called upon, she\’d request prayer for someone from work. How sensitive am I to the needs of those around me?

And Melinda was a Christian. Even though she had a difficult time understanding the sermons, she came forward periodically to have the pastor pray for her. She\’d say, “I need Jesus in my heart” every time. And every time, we\’d pray with her. She had such a desire to serve God the best way she could. Oh, that the rest of us would be so desirous of a close relationship with Jesus!

At the funeral, the pastor read a short tribute written by Melinda\’s sister, Jeanne. “Melinda never let life get her down. Her greatest accomplishment has just been achieved. She is now face to face with the One who died for her.”

A seizure took Melinda\’s life on earth, but I have no doubt she lives on in heaven, and has come face to face with Jesus Christ. I\’ll keep my work of art by Melinda in my Bible to remind me to be a consistent and caring Christian.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for those You bring into our lives who teach us to be better Christians. I pray I will be faithful, consistent, and caring in my walk with You. In Jesus\’ Name I pray, Amen.

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).