There was that time with her cousin Doris when they were children. Mrs. Viola took her daddy’s tobacco box out of the house and carried it outside into the outhouse with Doris to try out a cigarette. Strewn all about on the ground were dozens of stray sheets of Sears and Roebuck catalog. Yes, they really were used for more than sitting and reading.
Just about the time Viola had lit up, her mother came out of the house, and Viola and Doris threw down that cigarette and ran to the other side of the house.
Whew. Almost got caught.
Then there arose a cry from the grown-ups. Lo and behold, the outhouse had caught afire! And baby, did it burn. Between all those Sears catalog pages (and the natural methane trapped in the building!), the outhouse was gone in two minutes. Viola and Doris never told. Their parents never found out their entire lives. The fire cleaned up all the catalog pages, but Viola’s daddy was out there before nightfall at her mother’s instruction to build another outhouse for the use of the family.
Mrs. Viola was very outgoing and loved everybody. She especially loved her Savior Jesus Christ and knew she was ready to go to her heavenly home. This past Monday, her daughter Vivian called me and said that her Mama, now 82, had taken a downward turn. When I got to Mrs. Viola’s side, there she sat in the bed with her hair fixed, her makeup on, and her bright red lipstick just perfect. She knew the time was getting close, but she had respect for herself and her visitors.
“Mrs. Viola, are you ready?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she said. “I know my Lord and I want to go. I want Him to take me. I’m looking forward to it. The only thing is that I’ll miss everyone here, but to tell you the truth, I have more people on the other side than I do here.”
She told me she had just that morning seen her brother standing at the foot of her bed dressed in white, her brother who passed away some time ago. He spoke to her and told her that everyone was waiting for her to get there.
I wanted to read her some Scripture, so I asked her what her favorite psalm was.
“John 3:16,” was the reply.
I quoted, “For God so loved the world . . .”
Mrs. Viola picked up, “that he gave his only begotten Son . . .”
I continued, “that whosoever believeth in him . . .”
She finished, “should not perish but have everlasting life.” Mrs. Viola knew her Lord. She had full confidence in her Savior. Now she celebrates with her Jesus.