I wish you knew my Aunt. She died Friday morning after battling cancer far longer than anyone believed she could. I have reflected on why I feel such a sense of loss. You might think her passing wouldn’t touch me as deep or as hard it has. Yet this logic excludes the person I knew. Eva Lynn gave me something unique, she gave me the gift of unconditional acceptance and love. Nothing faked; just simple adoration, wholeheartedness, and laughter that says “I love you”, “I’m proud of you”, “I care about you in ways you cannot even imagine”.
I had heard of her in conversations for years. I think I had even seen a picture or two, but not much. When we finally met during the winter of 1968/1969 I wasn’t sure what to expect. To my surprise I met someone who seemed to genuinely care about me as a person. Regardless of what was going on when I arrived, I found a smile directed my way, a bubbly introduction to whoever was in the room at the time, and a sense of unlimited love that is hard to fake. Even when she was puzzled by my actions, and there was always ample reason for that emotion, the emotion and attitude that I sensed first was love and caring. I found myself leaving that first visit with a sense a loss that I did not understand.
In the years since I have shown up unexpectedly for weddings, behaving like many other teenagers of my time. It would have been so easy for her to drop into the normal way of responding to behavior at best irresponsible. The model of judgment for bad behavior has been the same for centuries. Even in Jesus day everyone knew what was to come when “the religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone.” (John 8.3) Judgment had arrived, yet not with Eva Lynn. I experienced tough, mercy-filled love.
You didn’t know Eva Lynn but you can meet her Teacher. Divinity’s Spirit is reaching out to you today with the same arms, mercy, and love. Be open and experience something Eva Lynn spent a lifetime giving me.
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