A lighthouse is a tower building used in older times as an aid to navigation and to pilots at sea. Lighthouses are used to mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous sandbanks, and reefs, safe entries to harbors, and can also assist in aerial navigation.
Today a light left this present world. This morning at 5:30 AM Ms. Ruth Joliffe left her earthly housing and passed on to a better place; a place where there is no sorrow or pain, no tears or want. I believe she journeyed today to a place where there are mansions and streets of gold. I believe Ms. Ruth's mansion might even be a lighthouse because lighthouses were one thing that she loved.
She often gave lighthouses as gifts. She gave gifts for no reason. It didn't have to be a birthday or holiday for Ms. Ruth to hand you a ceramic lighthouse figurine, night light, or even a rug with a lighthouse on it. My favorite gift of all that Ms. Ruth often gave to everyone was the little cards with lighthouses which Ms. Ruth drew herself. Also so on the cards were verses that she wrote.
I first met Ruth Joliffe about twelve years ago at a local auction. She was there with her mentally handicapped daughter, Christy, who she cared for every day of her life. My son Matthew was friends with her son David who was the auctioneer there. My son took me over to sit by Ms. Ruth and Christy. At this time in my life, I was a Christian, but what I would call an "inactive" Christian. Ms. Ruth saw something in me that I didn't know was there. She asked me to pray for Christy's leg because she was in great pain with it. I hesitated because at that time in my life I didn't do a whole lot of praying not even for myself, not even in private. I thought this was different, to say the least. but you know, God directed me just what to say even though I had not been talking a lot to Him in those days. Ms. Ruth then hugged me, thanked me, and right there in the middle of the crowded auction, put her hands on me and prayed for me as well.
Ms. Ruth had a gift of seeing good in others, of recognizing gifts and callings. Ms. Ruth was a giver. She led a sacrificial life with Christy's care coming ahead of her own needs and wants.
Her family told me, "Her heart just quit on her this morning." I know this is true, the medical reason, that Ms. Ruth is no longer here, but I believe Ms. Ruth simply followed the Light of a lighthouse that guided her into a safe harbor today where she is resting peacefully.
This is a poem written by Ruth Joliffe in 1987 that she gave me on my last visit to her home about three weeks ago.
I Wonder: I wonder what was on the Creator's infinite mind?
I wonder as the Father and His Son talked,
What might have been said, or where they might have walked.
It could have been any place;
Anywhere in the great galaxy of space.
This was all part of the Father's magnificent plan,
The heavens, the galaxies, earth, and man.
We may never know what was on our Creator's mind,
The whole story of the universe, seasons, and time.
But one day we will see Him face to face,
Completing this love story, which saved us by His grace.
There is one sure way for the survival of man.
It is found in the Word of God, the covenant plan.
Love came and the salvation of men's souls was claimed,
Jesus Christ is His precious name.
We are saved from hell by His strong right arm,
To live in peace forever from all harm.
There will be no more tears, pain or strife up there,
Because the Father proved through the Son, He really does care.
By Ruth Joliffe