The Church’s One Foundation

Sheila stood hunched over, singing listlessly to the song, “The Church’s One Foundation is Jesus Christ Our Lord.” She couldn't hold back the tears because her husband, Ted, died six months ago from leukemia and beautiful memories of their relationship were flooding her brain.

Church ended and she began her one mile walk home. In her mind, the song began playing once again. “What was it about the song that got to her so?” As she continued her walk, the lyrics played once again….

“The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.

She is his new creation; by water and the Word.
From Heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride,
And with His blood He bought her 
And for her life He died..”

“His blood He bought her…” Yes, it was those five words that stirred her soul and brought on those tears. That’s what Ted died from, cancer of the blood. And right before their fortieth anniversary! She just couldn’t get over the fact that God took him before he had a chance to enjoy retirement and their anniversary.

Ted worked for twenty years at First National and was just beginning to enjoy retirement; but four months into retirement, he got the awful news of cancer during a routine checkup. Childless, they were closer than most married couples and with him gone, she had no idea how to live.

St. Anthony’s was always a place of peace and respite from the world but now it had become a bittersweet memory of all the times they worshipped together.

Then she began thinking of Ted and what his last words were to her, “Honey, I want you to go on and be happy and if you find someone to love and be loved, go for it! I don’t want you ‘mooning’ over me when I’m gone. I’ll be in Heaven getting things ready for you and I’ve already made a request to God that we be together with whatever projects He wants us to do…So, be happy, and know that I will be, too.”

Those words haunted her but they were beginning to give her some comfort, for she knew he was in Heaven and with his persuasive ways, had already set up a nice place for both of them.

All through the following week the song took on new meaning and she began singing it with a lighter heart…

The next Sunday she sat down in the same pew she and Ted always sat in and waited for the sermon to begin. A few minutes later she decided to knell down and give her Sunday morning prayer. She prayed, “Dear Lord I miss and love Ted so much but I just know that he’s in your loving arms, happy and making a place for me. Take good care of him and please Lord help me to start living again; for I know that you and Ted want that for me. Thank you and praise you! Amen.”

The service began and soon Father Flanders was giving his sermon. About half way through a man walked in, saw that a space was empty next to her and whispered, “Would you mind if I sit here?”

At first she was stunned at his presence because she was thinking of Ted and how she missed him but replied, “I guess so…Sure, that’s fine.”

After the service, she saw him again outside the church, standing by himself, looking lost and alone. She decided to approach him…

“Good morning, I’m Sheila Cunningham. I’ve never seen you before; may I ask your name?”

He replied, “No problem. I’m Ted Burnstein and I’m new to this area.  My wife just died from cancer two months ago and I wanted to be in church to pray. Nice to meet you…”

All rights reserved to: Copyrighted 2008 to Toni Star