Linda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs
Excerpted Inspirations #25
"'But something worse was ailin' my heart, only Doc didn't know about that: it was starvin' to death. The Cove didn't have no church-house then and that was long afore Miz Henderson come. Onct in a long while a preacher-person would come ridin' through, but not often enough to do us no good.'
"'That longin' inside me burned and ached and cried for something, I didn't rightly know what. Then one day -- seems like 'twas only a week ago -- I was goin' acrost the foot log bridge, along that path windin' through the thickets and blackberry brambles. And at one certain spot on that path -- I could show you where -- why, He met me. Somethin' happened to me there. It was simple-like, but clear as mornin' light. I says to Him, "Lord," I says, "I don't rightly know whether I'm gonna live or die, but it don't make no differ. From here on, my life belongs to You."'
"'And it did, too, for a fact. From that day I could feel His love a-feedin' my starvin', thirstin' soul. And the more I tried givin' His love away to my man and my young'uns and the neighbor-folks, the more love He gave back to me. Reminded me of openin' up a spring: first, a muddy trickle. Then a leetle stream, gettin' stronger and clearer with every day that passed.'
"'Wal, then one spring when the moun-tains was greenin' and the grass in the pasture was half-a-grab high, Freeman had a huntin' acci-dent and went on afore me. And no sooner had he gone from his body than there he was in the room with us'uns. Not that I could see him, but I shorely could feel him. Jest himself, laughing easy-like, tellin' us as clear as a body could that everything was all right, not to worry a mite. It was then I knowed for sure that death ain't nothin' to be afeerd of.'"
-Catherine Marshall, Christy (1967), pp. 207-208.