Tag Archives: Fred Cranford

Faithful Servant…

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” – James 4:10

Another faithful servant has passed. Another long life well lived. She was gone before there was a chance for me to meet her and learn from her, something she had already done56a92e306a52a_image with so many. This past Tuesday, Ms. Betsy Cranford went to be with her husband, Fred, and son Eric who awaited with open arms as Jesus stood welcoming her home.

As time passes, as the days turn to night and the new dawn awaits, with each passing moment, the more keeping time seems to matter little. The moments are filled with so many wonderful things to experience, to learn and to do. There are challenging days, some that seem so bleak and dark that it would seem the mountain had fallen down; yet, in these moments, a voice speaks telling me to hold on, that there is another blessing waiting to unfold.

God has planted the seeds that now lie germinating all around us and within.

Ms. Cranford was one of those sowers of the seed. She taught, inspired and touched so many lives while living her own. Her depths of remorse could not have been lower, in losing a son and husband, but with each loss, her witnesses saw her grow stronger.

The great blacksmith above was folding her sword, again and again, each time making it stronger; each time making it capable of holding a sharper edge.

Although Ms. Cranford was held in such high esteem in the community, she always put others before her, as Jesus had commanded, “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” She was certainly chosen by God and truly humbled herself before Him as well for she was a faithful servant, both as a teacher and in her community.

Since Friday, my world became a blur again, moving from one moment serving the Lord to the next. It wasn’t until late that evening that we received word of Mrs. Cranford’s passing. Suddenly, there was another place to visit Saturday in an already full day.

I awoke long before dawn Saturday morning, with a thought rising within my head. It was as if God speaking to me. In order to share the story of our mission at home and abroad, there needed to be a flier created, the voice said, something to hand out at the day’s coffee event. At first, I tried to dismiss it, but we all know what happens when you try to ignore the voice of God. The problem was that I had only had a couple hours to gather the information and images with which to create the paper. The more I tried to dismiss it, the louder God continued to speak until finally, I had to give in. I reached out to my missionary friends, Jeffrey, and Gloria Canada. In fact, I worked through breakfast while they were conversing with me over lunch; yes, we were on nearly opposite sides of the planet, yet we were working for one cause, serving the Lord.

A quick jaunt over to the Trail to print out the fliers and I was then off to my next destination, the Valdese Heritage Art Center to prepare for our first ever Trail of Faith Coffee Tasting. My goal was to be there before Bert Sigmon, our musician entertainer for the day, arrived. However, as I pulled up, he was already there beginning to unload. From then, until I later found myself at the funeral for Ms. Cranford, the rest of the day was one special moment after another.

In fact, the first time I was finally able to sit and rest was when I found my seat in the back of the packed sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Drexel.

As I sat down and exhaled a long sigh of relief, satisfaction, and thankfulness, I was quickly greeted by familiar faces and handshakes.

Somehow, I knew people in a place that less than six months earlier, I would have felt like a total stranger. God is leading us each day. With each passing day, I find the more I seek him and humble myself before Him, the greater the blessings I find.

Although I never got to meet Ms. Cranford on this side of glory, I heard wonderful, compassionate stories of a woman that was a genuine Saint to all those who knew her. One speaker after another painted the picture of a caring, serving lady who was the symbol of what it is to be a true Christian. She was definitely someone you would have loved to have called a friend.

And yes, even to one who only wished he had.

God bless you Ms. Cranford and may your reunion with Fred and Eric be a special day, while you are all wrapped in the loving arms of Jesus himself.


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