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The Beauty of Body Life

By Alex Flecky | June 18, 2020

A member of our church passed away a month or so ago. It caused me to think how proud I am of our church body, who supported her over the decades and became her family.

“Betty” (not her real name) was divorced by her husband many years ago, she had trouble keeping a low-wage job as a caregiver and one of her kids is in prison. She was what could be labeled “troubled.” She was annoying and it was difficult to have her participate in a small group. She grew up in multiple foster homes and was most likely abused. She probably had a mental illness, undiagnosed and definitely untreated.

She moved away at one point but returned to SoCal a couple of years ago. Although she did not return to attending Fullerton Free services, it was the past connections with people in our church body that she relied on and that saw her through to the end.

The ways I saw church members/attendees give:

  • One couple opened their home to her more than once, for lengthy stays. They most recently took care of her on their own for months until hospice justifiably decided it was just too much for them. They are amazing.
  • One woman took Betty to all her cancer treatments and doctor appointments for years and became a nurse advocate for her.
  • Another woman offered her help as an elder care advocate.
  • Many, whose names I don’t know, visited, took her to lunch and spent time with her.
  • Betty supported one of our missionary couples overseas and they would call her personally (nine time zones away) to see how things were going.
  • And I have to mention our son, DJ, who took Betty to visit her son in prison a number of times.

Giving to Betty was mostly a one-way street, if you look at it from an earthly perspective. But if you look at it God’s way, people grew spiritually because of her involvement with them – and not just in patience. I remember a leadership conversation about the challenge (at times) of including her in a small group, and one leader spoke up and reminded us of Betty’s “heart for heaven.” It helped us refocus our thinking. Her life had been so difficult since childhood that she latched onto and yearned for the time she would be with Jesus for eternity. I love picturing her Home with Him now.

I just wanted to share the beauty of body life that perhaps few would hear about. Being “the hands and feet of Jesus” can be difficult when the person you’re helping is a pain to be with, yet so many of the people here at Fullerton Free became her safe place — a place where she was accepted, even if she didn’t change. She was supported, even if she couldn’t give back. She was included, even if she was difficult to have around. She was a part of the Fullerton Free family. And that’s what I’m proud about.

And now, she’s experiencing what she yearned for over the decades, and we are rejoicing for her. And someday, we fully expect to have a totally amazing time with a sister in Christ – who will be a joy to be with!

P.S. After I had written this up, I called a former Bible study leader of Betty’s to tell her of Betty’s passing and she shared this: “Years ago, Betty called me to come over immediately to her apartment to tell her neighbor about Christ. Well, I did drive over, and as a result, I had the privilege of leading Betty’s neighbor to Christ during that visit! Later, that new-believer neighbor told her son about Christ and he had a radical conversion when he was in prison. This was real fruit in Betty’s life — sweet, amazing fruit.”

By Alex Flecky, Co-Shepherd of Marriage Ministries