Stella McVey was a member of my church but she never heard me preach. I had never seen her in church, because she was confined to a nursing home. She had lived in the little cross-road village of Brandon for years. Her daughter was married to the County Sheriff and they lived on the margin of the village. Her daughter also played the piano at the Methodist Church just across the road from the Baptist Church where I was the pastor. She appreciated me visiting her mother in the nursing home from time to time.
Stella didn’t live long after I became the pastor of her church. She had had a stroke so she could not speak. She would squeeze my hand to communicate, nod, sometimes even cry. But she did not ever speak a word. She could not speak a word.
When I visited I would talk with her for a while then I would read a familiar passage of Scripture. After that I would pray with her and leave.
One sunny morning on a visit I chose to read from John 14:1-6. When I reached verse six she quoted it with me word perfect and clear. “Jesus saith unto him, ?I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ ” Those were the only words I ever heard her speak, but they were clear and perfectly pronounced. As far as I know she never spoke a word again in this life.
There was a place somewhere inside her mind that still cherished the promises of Scripture. As I drove away it made me wonder, when everything else is peeled away, what would I find at the deepest core of my being? What is it that is imprinted on my very soul that even the confusion of years will never erase?