Wednesday, November 17, 2010

With Praise for an Opal

Townie's memorial service was last Saturday.  Friends I hadn't seen in years were there, most of them as impacted by her life as I was.  People shared about her good cooking and her hospitality.  One fellow worker said that even her boxed lemon cake tasted marvelous.  An African student she had "adopted" said that Townie was concerned that he spent too much time at her house when he should be out with people his own age.  He said her food was delicious and her company quite satisfying for him.

She had a breakfast for international women students every Saturday, but the guys were jealous.  Please couldn't they come?  No, it's just for the girls.  But please, they really wanted to attend.  Well, OK, but they'd have to dress the part.  The next week three guys showed up in poodle skirts!

Others shared about the influence Townie had on their lives.  She was always available to offer whatever was needed, whether it was to help with immigration issues or teach them English or the Bible.

I received the following poem from Greg Asimakoupoulos, pastor of Mercer Island Covenant Church.  He was a student at SPU when I was, and it seems he was as blessed by her as the rest of us.

With Praise for an Opal 

An opal is a precious gem
with fire in its stone.
It beautifies a suffering world
where millions feel alone.

An opal perched upon a ring
can give a person hope
as can an opal round a neck
attached to a gold rope.

And there's an Opal I recall
I knew in college days
who helped the internationals
come to the USA.

A fire blazed within her heart
fueled by her faith and love.
A faith in One who loves the world
The One she'd sung hymns of.

Inspired, she would not just sing.
She lived the lyrics too.
This Opal (we called "Townie" then)
served Christ in what she'd do.

The Asian, Latin, African
the Indian and more
found tea and hospitality
once inside Townie's door.

And now the Savior of the world
has opened Heaven's door
to welcome Opal home at last
beyond the crystal shore.

by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos
Mercer Island Covenant Church
(Seattle Pacific Class of 1974)

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