Eighty-one years ago, today, December 28, 1935, I was born in Fort Cobb, Oklahoma.
Daddy took my older siblings through the snow, to stay with the Baggets, and brought the doctor back home to help with my birth.
My mother named me Fayrene after some Hollywood Starlet, of whom she had read. I don’t know where Ruth came from, but there I was, Fayrene Ruth Clark—fat, little bald-headed baby. My six year old brother, Paul, wanted to name me Patsy, after his little black bulldog. Somehow I am glad my mother insisted on Fayrene.
I am alone today, having just put that same brother on a flight back to Fort Worth. So, this is a day for reflecting. I have done a lot of that in the last little while, and after much consideration, I have come to this conclusion: I HAVE LIVED AN EXTRODINARY LIFE!
Oh, measured by many standards, that would not be so. However, I am measuring by my standard, and my standard says, considering everything, I have lived and am living an incredible life.
Born into a humble, God fearing home, with church the center of my universe, was the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me. I laughingly say that I have been in church every time the doors were open since I was two weeks old. My parents never found a good excuse for staying home. We went to church without question. I was an adult before I realized I had a choice. By then it was too late for me. I was hooked!
I could have been born in Syria, where women have no rights. Now how would this determined, strong-willed girl survive such a culture? Or perhaps I could have begun my life in Afghanistan or India, where the state would have determined my religion. Think about being buried in the frozen north of Siberia, where the name of Jesus is just now being shared. No! Thank God I was born in America.
In church and Sunday school, I learned that God loved me, and I fell in love with Him giving my heart and life to Him at the age of five. It was there that I learned to serve singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school, and leading the youth group. It was there where I answered God’s call to ministry.
Oh, the Blessings! Chosen by God to serve Him in far off places, I have traveled much of the world. I think I was born with the wander lust, and God made it all right for me to roam far afield, always with His purpose. I think of precious souls in places like Tajikistan, Poland and France, South Africa and India, Turkey and Spain. What a privilege to have touched lives and seen them transformed by the power of the Gospel.
I am thinking of my parents today—parents who loved God and loved me. They had a limited education, rarely traveled far from home, and eked out a living working tirelessly to provide for our needs.
In contrast, I have earned an advanced degree, traveled the world, live in a home that is paid for, and, in my retirement years, I don’t worry about paying my bills. From my perspective, that is pretty incredible.
As a young adult, I dreamed about being important—of mingling with the beautiful people—of making a name for myself. I longed to be recognized—to be lauded. Did I ever become important? Did I ever make a name for myself? No! Somehow that desire diminished over the years, as I became more concerned with pleasing God and doing His will. Oh, I am sure that I am important to my family, and I know, for a brief time, I was extremely important to my sweet Cecil, but to this world……….?
I have stood before royal palaces from Agra to London, from Copenhagen to Madrid, from Istanbul to Monaco. I have waved to the king of Belgium, watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and wandered the gardens at Windsor Castle. I am fascinated by the idea of royalty. I love the pomp and ceremony. I have followed the life of Queen Elizabeth II since she was a girl, and well remember her coronation. I love reading about Prince William and Kate and the babies.
Now, in these moments of reflection I am reminded that I am a child of THE KING OF KINGS. Revelation 1:5 says that Jesus Christ is, “…the ruler over the kings of the earth…”
John 1:12 tells me, “…as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God…”
In 1 John 2:1, He calls me His little child, and Isaiah 9:6 tells me that the child, who was born to be my King, is also my everlasting Father.
WOW!!! Now that’s incredible! Fayrene Ruth Clark Reese, who once longed to be important, is a member of royalty!
Happy birthday to me !!!
The sun will come out tomorrow