Her name will never be in the history books, but it is written in the Book of Life. She was never an item in the newspaper, but she was God’s reporter, telling His good news. She never had much formal education, but like her Lord she taught with authority from her own experience of God’s grace.
Her name was Eula Mai Smith, one of the finest, most lovable Christian women I ever knew. She was a black woman in my hometown, in a time when white people held all the jobs in stores. She eked out a living by doing domestic work for three families and by picking cotton in the fall.
In our house she was first a friend, then the person who did our laundry and cleaned our house. Her husband was gassed in World War I and ultimately died from complications, leaving her a widow with five small children.
She told about a day when there was no food in the house. When her little kids would ask for something to eat, she would send them out to play as a distraction. She said, “Preacho, they played so hard and got so dirty, their faces were right ashy white.” (Now you know how the other group views us!)
When they were tired from playing, she put them to bed for a nap. She said, “Preacho, I was standing there at my sink, crying and praying. I was asking God for help, when I heard old Mrs. Sanctified Williams, who lived behind me, call me to the fence. She said, ‘Eula Mai, I was cooking dinner when you came to mind. I thought you and your chill-un might could use this.’
And she had a big dishpan filled with food. I went in and fed my babies until their tummies stood out.”
And she quoted the scripture from the psalmist. “Preacho, I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Her God was able.
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