"I think it might be Jesus's favorite picture too."

Today an old friend called. I refer to him as an “old” friend, but actually we’ve only known each other for 10 years. He’s just the kind of friend that feels like an "old" friend because our friendship runs deep. The friendships you make following Jesus seem to run that way. We met when he started attending our church. We became friends as I had the privilege of walking with him through the early days of discipleship. I’ve learned a lot about Jesus and life from my friend, Howard.

I’ve seen Jesus redeem a past and unveil a bright future. I’ve seen Jesus lead through valleys and over mountaintops. I’ve seen Jesus use my friend to reach and influence others in a way that only he could. We have laughed, cried, and drank a lot of coffee together. He’s stayed in touch even though I have since moved to another town.

Today, he texted me a simple message letting me know his mother had passed. I called him. We talked and prayed. Before we hung up he told me he was going to send a picture of him and his mother together. “It is,” he said, “my favorite picture.”

He told stories of her faithfulness as a great Mom. His brothers and sisters marvel at how she provided for them during difficult days and never gave up on them during long, sometimes dark years. She was quite a woman.

She died with the peace in her heart that her children particularly one wayward son, were home. Not just home in a location sense, but home… settled, sober, following Jesus and making a difference in the world. Home… safe, belonging, together with family. Home... as in no words were left unsaid, no apologies went unspoken, no love was left unexpressed. Home. His journey there has blessed this pastor and made a world of difference to a Mom who left this world knowing where her son was… home.

He texted me the picture. I have printed a copy and put it under the plastic protector on my desk. I want to see it often and be reminded that when the church is the church, lives are transformed, children come home and Mommas are happy.

I don’t have any other pictures of my friend, but even if I did, this one would be my favorite. It's a reminder of God's amazing grace and what a "win" looks like for the local church. I think it might be Jesus's favorite picture too.

God bless the memory and family of Kay Piercy Schmitt.

Indeed, “Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” (Proverbs 31:31)