Here name was Lucille and she was easily the most sacrificially giving saint I have personally met in my 27 years of ministry. Lucille was 60 years old with advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis when I was assigned as the pastor or her church here in Austin, Texas.
She served as the church and school secretary for free. Her disability payments covered her expenses, so she donated her time to the church to advance the gospel and make it more affordable to do ministry. She typed with a pencil clutched tightly in a gnarled hand. Day after day, week after week, she served through pain and discomfort as she created all the worship folders for Sunday and special services, kept school records, wrote correspondence, answered the phone and made calls to volunteers. It took her two hours every morning to get herself ready and drive herself over to church.
Once when the congregation included her in the Christmas gifts I was selected, as Pastor, to beg her to take it. There I stood with her $250.00 check asking her to accept it with grace. With tears welling up in her eyes she said, “No, you will only rob me of the joy of serving if you make me take that!” I backed down and gave it back to the leaders just as she demanded. Lucille served like this for over 25 years. We tallied up what we think we saved the church in wages and benefits. It came to over $500,000. What a sacrifice!
Well, actually, It was a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Some people think that sacrificial giving is giving until it hurts. Sacrificial giving is giving because Christ hurt for us. It’s what Paul talked about in Romans 12:1. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
Thanks to Lucille, I have a vivid image of what that looks like in my world. Will you be the vivid image for your brothers and sisters in Christ?