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From Chris's Heart

March 2007
From Chris' Heart
by Chris Harris

Today my heart is touched by both sadness and gratitude as I think of my precious Missy. She is known to most of you as Naomi Woody and for those of you who never had the opportunity to meet her I would only say I pray there is someone in your life that means as much. Missy left this world and went to Heaven on her 97th Birthday.

Life for me will be changed and I know there are many of you who feel the same. Never in my life have I ever seen one life make so much of a difference in so many lives. She planted so many seeds and blessed so many.

She loved to tell the story about the first time she and I connected heart to heart. Nick and I had only been at First Church a few months when she found me in the sanctuary (now known as Harris Hall) and I was crying. She sat down on the pew next to me and I shared my heart. I donít know what it was all about, however, she listened and loved me, and shared words of wisdom, and made it all better. That was the way she was. Now, I must add, sometimes the words she shared were tough and sometimes you did not like it a little bit, but she always did it in love and she made sure you knew that.

My circle, Ruth Circle, was very special to me at First Church. Mrs. Woody was responsible for keeping that precious group of friends together. She mentored us and kept us in line with a wonderful lesson every month for over twenty years. Even when Nick and I retired, and others had left First Church we continued to meet. The picture attached was taken this December at her home at Ruth Circlesí Christmas party. Ann, Jan, Susie, Nancy, Gail, Missy and myself. She loved us and we loved her.

There are so many special times we shared together like, watching her hold my first grandson, who she just knew would be born on her Birthday, but instead he was born on Valentine's day, driving Jamie Don over to mow her yard weekly, and the instructions I received as I planted her periwinkles every spring along her front sidewalk, the honor of receiving a phone call in the middle of the night to come sit with her in the hospital because she couldnít sleep, and even just sitting at Sonic with her having a hamburger. I still canít believe she is gone.

She taught us all so much, but I know there are a few things we will always give her the credit for: she told us that Jesus was her best friend from the time she was five years old, she taught us that we have working in us the very same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead, she taught us that it is not enough to pray and believe for healing if you are not willing to receive it, but most of all she taught us that it is Christ in us the Hope of Glory!!!

My heart will never be quite the same, but I know she is among the saints surrounding and watching over us, and I will remember her words as Nick and I left her that evening when she told us she would see us again. I will miss you sweet friend.

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