Summary: This is the eulogy of a woman who had a servant's heart, the gift of hospitality, and loved the Lord.
Eulogy For Eleanor Carter Reese
There are some people in the Bible who we know instantly at the sound of their name. Names like Moses, Esther, Peter, Mary and Paul. Yet there are people whose names we don’t know yet their actions changed history, the little girl who told Namaan the great Syrian General how to be healed, the little boy who shared his lunch with the disciples so that Jesus could feed 5,000, or the woman who used her hair to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and her perfume so that Jesus could teach us the heart of forgiveness.
Though we do not know their names, their actions are emblazoned in the Christian hall of fame.
God creates some people who are to become well known in the world, and God creates some people who to be very special in the world. Now some would say it is better to be well known than to be special, but I think when we come to the end of our days, we’re not looking back to see how well known we were, but rather were we special in the lives of others.
When death is staring at us in the face, we do not usually take great pride in our degree from Harvard or Yale or in our position as executive vice president, nearly as much as we do from a child saying I love so much because of all that you did for me and I’m going to miss you, or from a person coming in and saying, when I was hungry, it was you that saw to it that I got a meal and for that I am grateful.
Eleanor Carter Reese was not created by God to be somebody well known whose name would cover the country and the globe at large, but I cannot think of anyone else who has been more special in the way that she has touched the lives of others.
There is wonderful woman known as the Proverbs 31 woman in the Scriptures. I have never chosen that passage of Scripture for a funeral, but as I reflect upon it, I believe here is a description of Eleanor’s life right there in the bible. A committed, hardworking, industrious, strategic thinking woman who put the needs of her family and others ahead of her own.
We sometimes forget, that no matter who we are, what we have done, or who we have become, we all started out in the hands of God.
For the Scripture tells us in Psalm 139:13-16
 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
God knew that Eleanor was going to be special from the moment she entered the world on August, 20th 1936, because He intended for her to be special. While knitting her there in her mom’s womb, God gave her a heart of compassion for the needs of people, He gave her the gift of hospitality to offer to the world, he put in a sense of humor to bring smiles to the lives of others, and the gift of encouragement to fill others with hope.
Eleanor came into this world already bathed in prayer because her grandparents were believers who had founded a church on Cleveland’s west side. They prayed for this little girl that she would know God. God answered their prayers and God had ideas on how He was going to use Eleanor to help build the kingdom of God.
But God also knew that he had ordained a specific number of days for her to live, and that he fully expected her to return to Him. Eleanor knew her days were limited, and she attempted to live her life to its fullest extent.
We on the other hand, simply take it for granted way to often that we will always have each other around, and we fail to appreciate the incredible special people that God places in our lives. We even make the mistake of thinking that we ourselves have an indefinite number of days ahead of us that we can control and determine, but I can tell you with certainty, unless Jesus comes first, we shall all surely die and we will die in times and methods not of our own choosing.
The Scriptures tell us that there is a way that seems right to a person, but at the end of it is death. If we are all living in order that we might some day die, then we should do a reality check to find out if we’re going to be prepared when we get to our final destination.