Saturday, July 16, 2011

Esther Frye's Life Has Gotten A Whole Lot Better

This morning Kathy and I attended the memorial service for Esther Frye, a long time member of Grace who passed into glory last Monday night just before midnight.  For 74 years, she used her skills as a chalk artist to do gospel presentations--many called them "chalk talks," but she always referred to them in my hearing as "giving a drawing" in a particular venue.

She would draw her picture while giving a narration, often set to music that told a story pointing people to Jesus. In our "high tech" era, many would be surprised that such a thing is still done, or ever was.  It may be disappearing, but not for lack of Esther's efforts.  She gave her last drawing less than a year ago, and until recently hoped to do "just one more."  Her son, John, relayed how she got her wish.

The day after she passed, one of the ladies she trained called John and told him that she had given a drawing the night before, one that Esther had trained her to do.  In addition, Esther had recorded herself doing the narration.  The artist used that recording as she drew, not knowing that Esther was only hours from heaven.  In this very poignant way, Esther gave one more drawing before she left for the lands no hand from earth can draw.

Those who shared at her service remarked on how she called people for prayer when she was going to draw, or when she needed strength (I received some of those calls myself).  They spoke of her faithfulness to the Lord.  And they told over and over of her passion to see people come to know Jesus.  Strange as it may seem to some, Jesus used her more powerfully than most.  Just a few years ago, Esther told me of a policeman who had trusted Christ through one of her last drawings.  He kept in contact, letting her know of the people he was sharing the gospel with.  One of her friends shared today that over 35 professions of faith have come through that policeman's witness, which was inspired by a a lady doing a chalk drawing.

I know that Esther is not at all disappointed to have left her chalk behind.  After all, the presence of the Lord must provide both more beauty than she has seen, and more opportunity to use her gifts and passions, no longer impeded by the frailties of this life.  She has been a blessing and is now most truly blessed.