Some of you may remember that I wrote about my friend Joyce’s death a short while ago.
She featured regularly on this blog with her photo-tweets.
Today (Thursday July 7th) is the day of Joyce Smith’s funeral.
For all her friends it will be a sad and, perhaps, painful day.
For Joyce’s Christian friends that sadness will be mixed with joy.
Joyce had a remarkable, profound and yet simple, faith.
She knew God and she knew the truth of God’s message in Isaiah,chapter 43 verse 1.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
Her vocation was embedded in that text or, rather, it was written in the depths of her heart.
Hers was a vocation lived out in the service of others. Her love for those to whom she ministered was rooted in her call to love and be loved in the name and love of Jesus.
Those who knew her felt enriched but also, as were many who, though they did not know her personally, came to know her through her photo-tweets, and the message that accompanied them. They were a regular feature of this Blog and I miss them. But I still have most of the 70+ Tweets and the Psalm reflections that preceded them during the first lockdown. So I will post some of them occasionally because they are too good to lose.
The photo I have chosen sums up Joyce and how I feel about her.
Oddly I don’t think I published it on my Blog before but maybe that’s because its moment is now.
Her note which came with the photo said this:
This little coot chick does not aspire to be a cygnet, but thanks his Heavenly Father for making him who he is. In the same way as in the words of the Butterfly song, “Thank you Father, for making me, ‘me’ “
The song, as many will know, is much loved by children and so it appealed to the child in Joyce. Probably it would be enhanced by some of her collection of puppets!
She was truly a child – a child of God!
Part of her legacy to children is a booklet she wrote, “A very special donkey”. It is illustrated by the children of Hillhouse School, Ninefields. At an accessible level it takes us along the Palm Sunday journey from the donkey’s point of view and how it discovered who Jesus truly is, along the way.
It’s beautifully told and maybe I’ll get permission to print it next Holy Week.
Back to the song; here it is in full.
THE BUTTERFLY SONG ***
Words and Music © Brian M. Howard
If I were a butterfly
I’d thank you Lord for giving me wings
If I were a robin in a tree
I’d thank you Lord that I could sing
If I were a fish in the sea
I’d wiggle my tail and I’d giggle with glee
But I just thank you Father for making me, me
For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus and you made me your child
And I just thank you Father for making me, me
The Chorus sums Joyce up. Like the little Coot in the photo she didn’t aspire to be anything but who she is, one loved by God as his child.
I am sure I am not alone in adding my own thanks to God for making Joyce, Joyce ! She is so special and I look forward to seeing her again in heaven.
May she rest in peace
And Rise in glory.
*** The Butterfly Song (If I Were a Butterfly), is loved and sung around the world. You can purchase Brian Howard’s CD, If I Were a Butterfly, that includes this special song and many others by visiting The Butterfly Song Store – GOD BLESS YOU and have fun singing! – and think of Joyce as you do!