Summary: Betty Hayes was an outstanding member of our church who had the gift of encouraging. She was loved by many in the church.
On a warm summer day, on the 16th of August in the year 1934, near the great Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, God gave Earnest Lee and Betty, a beautiful little girl, whose heart would grow to touch the lives of many. That little girl was named Betty.
God creates some people who are to become very important 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 important than to be special, but I think when we come to the end of our days, we’re not looking back to see how important we were, but rather were we special in the lives of others. I want you to know that Betty was special in the lives of others. When I think of her, I immediately see a sparkle in her eye. Even when she told me she was a little down, she would try to say something encouraging to me.
When death is staring at us in the face, we do not usually take great pride in our degrees from Harvard or Yale or in our position as executive vice president, nearly as much as we do from hearing a child saying I love so much because of all that you did for me and I’m going to miss you.
Betty Hayes was not created to be somebody iwhose name would cover Time magazine . She’s done something greater than that by being on the cover of our hearts. There have been several testimonies of how this meek and humble woman has had a tremendous impact in the lives of others.
She may have been small in stature, but she has been huge in the size of her heart. Her children described her as woman who had the gift of being a mother to everybody. Betty carried around a huge heart of compassion. She did not have to know you to care about you. She blessed unlimited lives in her job as a nurse’s aid. The Spirit of Christ truly dwelt within her heart. Once you started talking to Betty, you either better have a plan of escape in advance or be prepared for a long phone conversation. The lady enjoyed talking. So you should never call her on the phone if you were in a hurry to do something else.
One of the things that made Betty incredibly special was the enormous amount of support and encouragement that she gave to those around her. She knew what it was like to carry enormous personal burdens in life, and yet still managed to smile and to cheer those around her. She was a woman who looked beyond her trials to find someway to brighten somebody else’s day. She was an incredible special woman. None of us imagined at the start of the year 2006, that it would conclude in this matter.
But nothing that happened to Betty surprised God because God was active in Betty, long before Betty became active in 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 Betty was going to be special from the moment she entered the world because He intended for her to be special. 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.
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 in times and methods not of our own choosing.
Betty was blessed, because she recognized that death is a certain reality for all of us and it can hit us at any moment. 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.