I had the privilege and joy of giving a short eulogy at Jeannette Clift George’s (she played Corrie ten Boom in the movie, The Hiding Place.) memorial service in Houston this past weekend. It was a glorious service. Dr. Ed Young was so tender in his remarks – I was unaware that his dear wife died recently – this was possibly the first memorial he has done since – must have been difficult. The music was heavenly! Orchestra, choir, soloists – the whole nine yards. And it is a lovely sanctuary – like churches should look!!
I told two quick stories about her and then talked of her relationship with my parents. She was a particularly dear friend to my mother. They were like old-fashioned girlfriends. They shared confidences, silliness, laughter and always something God was teaching them from the scriptures.
Because they were both in the limelight, there were few with whom they could share their burdens and know it would go into a black hole.They trusted each other. They both had a refreshing take on life and did not take themselves too seriously.
One story I told was that Jeannette became concerned that people were not listening to each other. So one day in a receiving line as she shook hands she said to each person, “The elephants are coming. The elephants are coming.” No one heard her or paid any attention! Her point was proven.
One Easter she decided to send Easter cards and sign each one. She thought she had written the scripture verse, Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today, yes and forever.” She was pleased to get all the cards out. Soon she saw a friend at the grocery store and the friend thanked her for the card but said she was surprised by the reference. Jeannette inquired and was horrified to learn she had written Hebrews 12:8, “then ye are bastards.”
Such was Jeannette’s life! Like I said she didn’t take herself so seriously that she couldn’t laugh at herself.
One the way home I arranged for a wheelchair to meet me at the gate in Charlotte – It is a long trek and my balance is not so good right now. (Yes. I am seeing a doctor about it. Two “irritated nerves” in my lower spine.)
The man pushing my chair must have been a frustrated kamikaze pilot! He swerved, almost ran over people – I smiled and waved like a queen but was scared the man would dump me out!! Poor Krista (my traveling companion) kept up – she is a runner! But he was a mess.
When we got to the gate we got seats. In front of me was a nice, well-dressed Black woman. She looked so familiar. I smiled at her and said, “You look so familiar, do I know you?” She was sweet and said, “No, I don’t think so.” But I’d started a conversation and carried on…anyway, she said when she is in Charlotte at the airport she usually goes over to the Billy Graham Library.
Krista leaned in and said “Are you going to tell her who you are?” I gave Krista the evil eye and said “No”. (I fired her last time for doing that at Lakewood Church! I didn’t really fire her.)
I asked this woman what was her favorite part of the library and about her family…just making conversation. It was clear she was a believer. I told her we were coming from Jeannette Clift George’s memorial service. She wasn’t clear who Jeannette was but knew The Hiding Place.
I asked about her kids……chit chat. I asked where she was going – to “Daytona Beach for a MLK event then on to Atlanta.” I told her if she saw Alveda King to give her my love. She said “What is your name?” I told her, and she hugged me, leaned down and whispered, “I am Candy Carson. My husband is Ben Carson.”
We had met on several occasions and so I jumped up and gave her a hug. It was like meeting an old friend. We had met years ago at The Cove when Ben Carson spoke there then again when he and I both spoke for James Robison in Dallas.
It was cute how we both tried to keep our identities under wraps.. And I am quite sure a lot of people say to her, “You look familiar.” Her husband ran for President for crying out loud! We took a photo. I assured her we were praying like mad. I was surprised there was no Secret Service…I guess Cabinet members’ wives don’t qualify.
Anyway, it was a sweet blessing to have a happy reunion at the gate in Charlotte. You just never know what little “surprise blessings” God has in store for you each day!
Let’s look for them each day this year and thank God for them. We are so blessed in so many ways. Maybe keep a journal of them – I know if I didn’t journal, I’d forget so many things.
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