Updated: Dec 5, 2018
Ever wonder if the little things matter? Do people actually listen? Every once in a while, I’m reminded the answer is “YES!” In early September, I met Bernice; our friendship lasted less than a week but the impact she had on me will be lifelong.
We met on a Friday on Ms. Brenda’s (her momma's) front porch. We met again a few days later at the first Caterpillar beginner’s sewing class. It was really nice to have someone as “domestically challenged” as me in the class, and Bernice was just as terrible with a needle and thread as I am but she had a heart full of joy. We laughed and laughed. During the devotion, I read my favorite children’s book, “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” which is a reminder that everything we DO and SAY either helps someone or it hurts someone. Bernice absorbed every word of the story; she reminded me of a small child during story time at the library.
Later, Ms. Brenda told me Bernice how excited Bernice was about the book. The next morning, the women’s Bible study group heard Bernice was in the hospital in critical condition. The Lord nudged me to go be with Ms. Brenda and Bernice, and I didn’t hesitate. When I walked into the hospital room, Ms. Brenda cried out to me, “Cherri, my daughter is going to die!” God calmed my spirit, reminding me that I didn’t have to come up with the perfect words. I sat at Bernice’s bedside and we talked for a few hours. I learned she had been estranged from her momma for quite some time and had been in multiple abusive
relationships. And, she had stage 4 bone cancer and AIDS from drug abuse. For a few seconds, I questioned the full-of-joy Bernice I’d sewed with the day before.
Then, the kicker: Bernice had come home to reconnect with her momma during the short time she had left to live .This brought Ms. Brenda so much peace those last few hours of her daughter’s life. When Bernice began trying desperately to tell us something, the nurse gave her a pen and paper. On life support and hours away from death, Bernice wrote, “We filled a bucket.” I was so blessed to be able to have some time that afternoon to share the Gospel with my new friend and pray with her. I’m thankful God brought Bernice into my life. It’s the brief moments and little ways He interrupts our agendas. I’m convinced Bernice is in Heaven with God, learning to sew.