In the long history of the Bible there is only one woman whose life is chronicled, and her age is given. Only one. Maybe that is why you should never ask a woman her age 🙂 It is a Bible thing!

It was not Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. It was not even Mary, the mother of Jesus. It was Sarah. The only woman in the Bible whose age is given is Sarah. Why? I submit it is because she was a/the matriarch!

A matriarch is a venerable old woman. A woman of great age, impressive dignity, and worthy of reverence.

When a woman is a matriarch she rises above the average. She imprints her life on others. She instills her spirit in others.

When a woman is a matriarch, she leaves behind things ordinary women jettison at the grave.

In many ways matriarchs never die. They live in hearts, minds, and memories forever.

Saturday, December 7, 2013, I attended the home going service of a matriarch. Her name is Ruth Luke. She is the mother of my neighboring pastor Mike Luke.

As I sat in the service listening to the impact she left on so many, my mind went back over half a century.

I was about 5 or 6 years old. I was a very battered, mistreated child who was angry and mean. The people of the neighborhood where my grandmother lived asked her to not allow me to go to their houses. In those days kids played late in the neighborhood until after dark.

I was very mean. I poked the neighbor’s pets with sticks and threw rocks at passing cars.

I was a child pariah.

Across the street from my grandmother’s house on Mark street in Arvin, California, in the 1950’s lived a nice woman. In fact she was the only woman in the entire neighborhood who was ever nice to me.

While others watched to make sure I would not visit their property, she watched to see when I was standing out on the sidewalk looking at her house. She even gave cookies to that childish bundle of anger and hate.

55 years later I went down memory land and thought how crazy life is. The last 15 years of her life I was privileged to spend many times around her talking about “Mark street” many years ago.

Like her namesake in the Bible, Ruth Luke is an amazing woman. She is a modern day matriarch.

She being dead yet speaketh.

Thanks for reading today.