Mrs. Gerlene Pashion passed away last Friday suddenly.

Mrs. Pashion is the mother of my lifelong friend, Lori.  I can almost not remember a time when I didn’t know her.  She’s been a fixture in my life since I was about five.  And it’s funny that I didn’t realize how important she’s been to me until now, now that she is gone.

I spent just about every Sunday afternoon of my growing up years at the Pashion house, having lunch with them after church and, in the early years, playing with clay at the kitchen table, which gave way eventually to spending time in Lori’s room, probably talking about boys.

Looking back on those afternoons with the perspective of an adult, I realize that was possibly not the most convenient way for Mrs. Pashion to spend her Sunday afternoons.

But Mrs. Pashion knew how to love people.  She was never begrudging of those afternoons.  And I was a senstive child and believe me, I would have known.  All I felt at the Pashion house was gracious warmth and the love of Christ overflowing.

I remember an afternoon when Lori and I were in high school and members of the bible quiz team.  We were preparing for a competition and Mrs. Pashion spent an entire afternoon listening to each of us go through our stacks of quote cards until we were word perfect on every single one.  Again, from an adult perspective, I realize that there were probably many other things that Mrs. Pashion could have been doing with her time, important things.  But she knew that loving people means spending time with them, even when it’s not convenient.  I had the privilege of being treated like a third daughter.  But, knowing Mrs. Pashion, I believe all Lori and Rosie’s friends probably felt the same way, loved, accepted, a member of the family.

This kind of unconditional love, that loves without thought of one’s own comfort  or convenience has helped me understand the love of my Father in heaven.  I am honored to have spent so much time with a woman who was beautiful to the core and taught me so much about the working out of my salvation in love and patience and grace.  And I pray that God will use me to be a “Mrs. Pashion” to the friends of my own daughters.