By Karen Anderson
Her name was Anne Reid, a woman of God who was all in. Standing at no more than 4’10” in pumps, she was a spiritual force to be reckoned with. Anne was the woman at church who we all wanted to seek out in times of despair or discouragement. Regardless of the trial I faced, she would reach out and grab me by both arms telling me to never give up. Her command of scripture combined with her unwavering faith was an inspiration to all those who knew her. I was blessed to be one of them. When she died in her sleep, members of our church felt a profound void. I knew I would need to adjust my schedule to attend her memorial service, because not attending wasn’t even a consideration.
As our pastor was sharing snippets of Anne’s life, he placed a large stuffed lamb on his podium. It was from Anne’s car. The lamb traveled with Anne as a reminder that the lamb of God was always with her.
Not soon after that, I got my first lamb to ride with me in my car. I didn’t stop at one. Soon my car’s backseat had a collection of various shapes and sizes of those wooly animals. As I told others the story of my lambs, many began to buy their own. My lamb collection has since spilled onto my desk and other areas in our home. I give lambs as gifts to my grandchildren. I hope, someday when I’m in heaven, they will remember their Nana who loved lambs. More importantly, I want them to remember why and embrace the same belief.
I’ve been retired from teaching third grade for almost eight years now. The neighborhood where I taught had its share of break-ins, especially cars. Mine never was. I know those stuffed lambs didn’t have any special super powers. But, I’ve wondered if a thief may have seen my collection and decided to skip over my car. I would like to believe that might be the case.
Since Anne’s been gone I’ve not only collected lambs, but, as best as I can, I have encouraged others to not give up when facing trials. I’ve even gone so far as to gently grab their arms, pray with them, and promise to continue praying for their situation. And I have witnessed God use that to change the hearts of those in despair as well as their circumstances.
As a follower of Christ, I am so grateful to know the Lamb of God, Jesus, is always with me. He has promised to even go and prepare a place for me, providing me the assurance He will always be with me. Before I knew Him, I was a sheep without a shepherd, wandering aimlessly.
When I try to imagine my pastor delivering my eulogy one day, I hope he will tell others of my lamb collection. Maybe my grandchildren will bring theirs to the service too. My heart’s desire is to be remembered in the ways Anne Reid was remembered; as a woman who loved God, loved His word, and reminded others of His presence.
About the Author
Karen Anderson is married to her husband Larry. They have a blended family of seven adult children and eight grandchildren. Karen writes a weekly column on Substack and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul.