I have not concealed thy steadfast love
and thy faithfulness
from the great congregation!
Emily Ericson has been a part of Bethlehem longer than Elsie Viren! But since I came as pastor five years ago she has seldom been able to get out to worship with us. I have gotten to know her mainly through hospital visits.
Last week I called Stan Miller, our summer volunteer intern, and said “Let's go visit Emily Ericson.” He said, “Fine.” So we drove my $200 Mercury steamboat down Minnehaha Avenue to Emily's apartment. We buzzed her room and her neighbor Dorothy Soderberg came to let us in.
You see, Emily just had surgery on her left leg to enable her blood to bypass some artery blockages. So she isn't walking too far at once. But she met us at her door and gave us gracious welcome into her attractive apartment.
We were there to encourage her faith and pray for continued healing but—as often happens—she turned the tables on us. For twenty minutes she spoke of God's faithfulness in her life. And we were no longer the ministers but the “ministees.” Emily has a great story to tell. A great story of a great God.
It would take a dozen Stars (Taste & Sees) to tell her whole story—how her circulation deteriorated, her leg ached, one toe started to die and a letter to Duluth ended up pointing her to the perfect specialist in Minneapolis. Her courage mounted as the dangerous six-hour surgery approached. The operation succeeded. Her stay in the hospital was amazingly short. And her recovery at home was helped by an expert nurse.
What moved Stan and me most was that Emily was so filled with praise to God. She longed to be able to tell of his steadfast love in the midst of the great congregation. She gave all the glory to God.
She is not alone. Others who can't get out to be with us are brimming with stories of the goodness of God. If you need some encouragement, why not visit a Bethlehem veteran this week! Stan and I recommend it highly for your soul.