Emma Kreger was a school teacher. Emma taught school in the days of one-room schoolhouses, a phenomenon in Indiana where we lived that survived well into the 20th century. Her classroom was young people from first through eighth grade. Emma was so dedicated to her profession that she did not marry until well into her fifties, inheriting a family of adult children who absolutely adored her.
When I met Emma she was a widow, well into her 90s. She was the oldest member of the church that I was serving. A gentle, unassuming, sincere and slightly ornery little gal. Still dressed with the dignity and the audacity of a life-long teacher.
One Christmas I was visiting her in her little two room apartment at St. Anne’s Home. By that time she had been a resident for several years, not really venturing into the outside world-but riding her little motorized scooter to meals and bingo. As I attempted to make conversation, I commented on her collection of Christmas cards, noting a particularly colorful one.
“Oh, that’s from Lyle. He’s an inmate at Pendleton,” was her response.
I was completely taken aback. Pendleton was one of the maximum state prisons in Indiana at the time, a lot of hard core criminals residing within its walls. The look of shock on my face must of been obvious. “Emma, how do you know someone in Pendleton.”
“Oh,” she answered matter-of-factly, “he killed a friend of mine.”
I write several blogs. One of them is called EASTER PEOPLE. That blog is dedicated to telling people about the Christian faith in three forms. One is explaining what Christians believe and what it has to do with living in the 21st century. This may be in the form of articles of spiritual interest, more in depth examination of biblical teaching, and articles that bridge the original message of the Bible and its audience and life context to the hearer today and their life context.
The second form is to tell stories of Christians living out their relationship with Jesus Christ. People, whose lives have been transformed by the Cross and Resurrection and what has been the result of that transformation.
The third form is to use our creative imagination in fiction, art, poetry, etc. to get a sense of the heart of people who are “living in the land of the dying on the way to the land of the living.”
You can read the rest of Emma’s story and other thoughts by going to EASTER PEOPLE