Ilse loved with a loyal love- the kind that is patient, caring, forgiving, and that esteemed her friends. She was a private person also- although if you knew her well, she did share what she thought, and how she felt. But she would tell you what you needed to hear. She loved music, theatre, and history- as all Germans do. She loved to have deep conversations about history, faith- many things. When you talked with her, you felt like you were the only person in the room with her.
Ilse had a strong faith. It was proven by the life she lived, and how she lived it. She believed what the Bible told her about God, and what He promised through his Son, Jesus.
Something I can share now- she told Lynda that when she died, to throw away her orthopedic shoes. She said they were good shoes- they did good work, and they were expensive. But she wanted them thrown out first. You see, Ilse was injured during World War II- she was very young. An explosion killed her Mother and Sister, right in front of her eyes. Only Ilse and her Grandmother lived- but Ilse’s ankle was injured beyond a full recovery. From that young age, Ilse had huge reasons not to believe what the Bible told her. Her life had been hard. Every step on that damaged foot was a reminder to her about that hard life. Everyone has a reason not to believe. But, she looked at herself, past what she could see, and believed what God said about Himself- and her… that she needed a Savior.
What makes a person do that? Lynda and I were watching a TV show- an old western. In it, a bad guy was masquerading as a pastor. When he was caught, a young boy asked his father, “Will a real pastor ever come to our town?” The father said “Yes, son. We’re bad enough to need one, and good enough to want one”.
I believe that if Ilse were here now she would tell anyone without faith and salvation that they needed it, and she hoped they were good enough to want it. So, ask yourself- are you ‘bad enough’ to know you need it, and good enough to want it. Or, are you ‘bad enough’ to need it, but not good enough, or think you are too good, to want it? It’s one or the other.
I saw Ilse the Saturday before she died. I had to travel that week- I thought I would see her when I came home. That would not be the case. I will see her, when I get to a different home- Heaven. That is a promise God keeps. And that is a comfort for me, and everyone who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior and loved Ilse.