A Servant's Heart: A Tribute to SusanWe know she would not like for the spotlight to be placed on her, that is one trait of a true servant's heart (Matthew 6:3). However, Susan's sermon of unselfish servitude was preached each and every day and we need to remember. Many have been recipients of wonderful meals either in her home or brought to yours. She was always concerned that no one be forgotten when showers were to be given, wedding or baby. Several were celebrated in her home while she assisted with others. Unless out-of-town or ill, she attended them all, even when she did not feel well. Graduation parties, concerts, ballgames, birthday celebrations — she was there. She loved sharing in the joy of others but that did not hinder her from being there to carry the burden of sorrow with her Christian family.
Susan also had a professional family, one who admired and respected her for her work ethic and caring. Students of all ages were blessed because of her instruction and love. She wanted the best for her students and went the extra mile to see that they were successful. All the time shining the light on them, not herself.
Teaching was not confined to the public schools. There are not many age groups Susan did not teach over the years. The last class she taught at Eastside was the 3rd and 4th graders, sharing her love for God's word. Working on planning committees, she was diligent to see that the topics were current, relevant to the audience and most of all, scripturally based. The Ladies' Retreat, Fall Ladies' Day, weekly Ladies' studies, and the most recent Summer Ladies' Study are just a few. After hearing a lesson Gary preached on older women teaching the younger, she wanted to provide that opportunity to the Eastside ladies. Being a humble person, she asked several older ladies to help her with the planning and implementation.
The planning sessions were more Bible study than planning and everyone came away richer because of it. Her "idea in my head," as she called it, took flight in June with the first of 4 classes being held. Six groups, meeting over 3 months, met to study and grow as a Christian family, learning from each other.
Dedication to her Christian family was important to her but dedication to her family was where her light shined the brightest. Love and time were demonstrated in everything she did for Gary and the three boys and their families. Watching Susan with her grandchildren brought a smile to your face and warmed your heart. Although she did not monopolize your time with stories or photos of family she was "just right" in what and how she shared her pride for her family.
All of us have "heard" Susan's sermons as we observed her live her life; always graciously serving with a humble heart. Now, our challenge, as a tribute to Susan, is to learn from her sermons, make them part of our lives, and thank God for the opportunity we had to learn from one of the best.
"But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:43-45