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Gina was wearing a pink shirt, her “favorite color “ she announced to me many moons ago when I first met her at the Hartwell Presbyterian Church. This sad event of its closing had brought several Northminster members to honor the few faithful that remained and invite them to come to Northminster on Sunday mornings.
Gina accepted our offer of friendship and solace. Her husband had recently died and her only companion was a Bassett hound. No children had blessed their marriage. Over the course of several years, we connected on Sunday mornings when she told me about her sister, a best friend, and loving neighbors. She was also drawn to Jewish friends and their faith, equally a part of her life. And she bravely joined a Bible study group, meeting new attendees at Northminster and sharing her love of The Word.
During COVID, her long-time job with a neighborhood family store became extinct when its owners decided to retire. Those close ties with other workers also vanished. In her frugal life, she counted on God to supply her needs, and He did! An intentional visit to Hartwell’s Fresh Food Market to ask if they needed help yielded a new part-time job. Her credentials of affable customer service, loyalty, and reliability netted that small store a valuable employee, and she gained a new circle of friends.
Gina is an unapologetic worshipper whose arms fly heavenward during praise songs and anthems. Uplifted palms proclaim her steady welcome of Jesus Christ into her life. Her big smile radiates love.
One Sunday she shared her Coming to Jesus Story. After her husband’s passing, when unrelenting grief had bowed her body in despair, she was suddenly surrounded by clouds of color, mostly pink, and heard Jesus calling her. That moment changed her life, and she freely shares her poignant conviction that “God loves us all! He loves us Each!” Gina’s Pentecost story is sheathed, not in the symbolic red so ardently portrayed in that season, but rather in the soft pinks of her wardrobe.