Bessie’s Homecoming

My husband’s mother, Bessie, passed on this morning at age 91. We are all filled with sweet remembrances of her life and her character. (And she was a character!) And she was a sweet friend.

Some time ago she gave me a copy of the collected poems of Amy Carmichael (called Mountain Breezes), and she marked all her favorites with a scrap of paper for me. She loved Amy Carmichael’s life and work as a missionary in India. Bessie herself served as a missionary in Japan before she met and married Jim, so Amy’s works resonated with her. Over the many years that the two of them ministered together, I’m not sure if she ever missed a day reading Edges of His Ways or her well-worn copy of Daily Light.

I thought I would print up one of those favorite poems today, to commemorate what she had longed for as long as I have known her: her own homecoming.

Make Me Thy Fuel

From prayer that asks that I may be

Sheltered from the winds that beat on Thee,

From fearing when I should aspire,

From faltering when I should climb higher,

From silken self, O Captain, free

Thy soldier who would follow thee.

From subtle love of softening things,

From easy choices, weakenings,

(Not thus are spirits fortified,

Not this way went the Crucified)

From all that dims Thy Calvary,

O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,

The faith that nothing can dismay,

The hope no disappointments tire,

The passion that will burn like fire;

Let me not sink to be a clod:

Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

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20 thoughts on “Bessie’s Homecoming

  1. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).

    I am continuing to pray for all your family.

  2. I will pray for your family as you adjust to a world without Bessie.
    You reminded me of the time my second grader’s teacher asked the children what they wanted to be when they grew up. My son wasn’t sure for himself but responded “My mother wants to be a character!”
    Oh, what Bessie has seen by now………………..

  3. It is comforting and a joy to think that our loved ones are in another place in God’s kingdom, and we shall see them for all eternity. Praying for your family.

  4. I have just loved reading different things about Bessie over the years and especially loved the poem about her included in Untune the Sky. I can’t wait to meet her one day.

    Much affection and prayers for your family.

  5. I’ll be praying for your family. So many people have been blessed by the fruit of the elder Mrs. Wilson’s faithfulness!

  6. Condolences and much love in Christ from the Simms down here in Arizona. A life well lived to the glory of God and the building of His kingdom. A faithful and fruitful wife and mother.

  7. Dear Wilson Family,
    We are rejoicing with your family in Bessie’s glorification with her Savior!
    And your sorrow in the absence of her precious spirit among you all is our sorrow, too.
    May the Lord bless and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

    the Orr Family

  8. Nancy, Mickey and I grieve with your family at this separation but rejoice in Bessie’s entrance into heaven. A memorial that is “Bessie-honoring and Christ-centered” is a wonderful plan.
    Love and prayers,
    Judy and Mickey Schneider

  9. We are praying for your family. Our family has been so blessed by you and your husband’s ministry, and we know that it could not have been possible without the faithfulness of Bessie. Truly a good and faithful servant.

  10. I cannot count the words of wisdom I have heard from you which you have credited to Bessie. She touched more people than she actually touched. I know you are happy for her, that she gets her long awaited homecoming, but I also know there is deep sorrow when loosing those we love. I am glad God is comforting you and the family who love Bessie. I am praying for strength especially for Jim. Love to you all, Crystal

  11. Mrs. Wilson — I don’t know if you remember me. You helped me some through email correspondence. I wrote this on your husband’s blog and wanted to pass it on to you. Much Love, Megan

    Mr. & Mrs. Doug Wilson — My husband talked to your father (Jim) the day Bessie died. He spoke to him for an hour, counseling . . . talking. It wasn’t until the end of the conversation that he told Konstantin that Bessie had died that morning. My husband cried in disbelief that Jim hadn’t told him this before. But, ever faithful Jim was allowing the Lord to use him again. Your mother’s life is an inspiration to me, personally. As your father talked to us about marriage/God over the past few years, I felt I could relate to her in many ways. I am blessed by her life. Your father led my husband, my father and my grandfather to Christ. I am in awe over the lives your parents have led and it is an honor and a privilege to have known your beautiful mother. I held back the tears as much as possible all day yesterday. I lost my parents 13 years ago and I know the deep loss mingled with strange joy that comes with losing a parent but knowing they are at Home. God bless you all. We are praying for you. In Christ, Megan

  12. I loved all the things N. D. wrote about Bessie in Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl. I only know your family through books and blogs, but please accept my condolences. You are all in my prayers.

  13. What blessing and joy for her to meet her Lord! But for you who are now left without her in your lives, I pray that God may give you much comfort.

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