Summary: This is a funeral service for a very active Christian woman who died at 75.
When we think of Dorothy, how can we not think of the greatness of God?
There may be some that scientist can say just happened but they are not in the same category as Dorothy Luciano. For in Dorothy, God gave to us an incredible beautiful gift. The downside of receiving such a great a gift is the tremendous and lingering loss we feel when that gift is taken back from us.
We all like to think, that we have an ownership claim on each other, especially those we love, but in reality all the people that come into our lives are borrowed from God. We all know that when we borrow something, we’re supposed to give it back to where it came from. It does not matter how long we keep it, whatever we borrow, still belongs to the owner.
In Psalms 24, the writer reminds us that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” Death is the reminder, that one day we all go back to the original owner. Now some of us might think that’s a bad thing, but for those who know Jesus Christ we know it’s a good thing because of what Jesus told us.
Before Jesus left this world he told us, John 14 says 1“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also
Dorothy had a great zest for living, even when it was not easy. There were times when she felt bad but smiled. There were times where she was troubled but loved. Each of us can quickly bring to mind our favorite memory, our favorite time and smile.
Ted, way back then in 1951 and before, you brought Dorothy joy, not that it was all love letters and roses but certainly a love that endured and set examples for us all. Then came Patricia, Mark, Sandra, the poor unphotographed one, as its been said, then Paul and David; then add Jennifer, Lauren, Kristen, Brian, Daniel, and Tina. She had a joy that could only come from her grandchildren. Each and every one of you was so special to her. I loved the way her face radiated when she held a baby; she loved every one, her love for the Church, the strength of her friendship. Whether it was Bowling or bingo or singing or fellowship, Dorothy knew what joy was.
We often think it’s the people who like Dorothy had a joy about living, have had life easy, but that is usually far from the case. It’s the people who have seen some valleys and climbed over some rough mountains that understand that life is a gift regardless of the forms that it takes.
Ted and Dorothy grew up together, faced joy and sorrow together, shared birth and death together. Joy and Adversity was all too common in life for Dorothy.
The loss of two children, Patricia and Mark, both dying in different but similar way, suffering from sickness over extended periods of time, has to be a suffering only known to those who have been through it. Ted told me of how Dorothy would visit Mark in the hospital every single day and how they worried and tried every possibility for relieve for Patricia.
God poured some incredible talents and abilities into Dorothy. The good thing is that she allowed them to take root in her life and blossom. Dorothy did not let her gifts go to waste.
Each and every day, She used what the Lord gave to her, never because she wanted glory or honor, but it was her duty, as a mother, as a grandmother, as a wife, as a friend and most importantly as a Christian. I doubt if Dorothy ever sat back and did nothing, when she knew something needed to be done even if it was not her job.
It is things like knowing when to say something to encourage you when you’re down. It’s listening when somebody is hurting, and sharing their pain with them. The desire to stop a hurt, to end a hunger, to lift a spirit, to give a hand up to the less fortunate and just to love us even when we were not very lovable. Dorothy knew how to do it well. One of our members said, “She taught me that there is power in prayer.” Those are the things that make a great Christian woman.
Proverbs 31 and I Timothy 5:10 remind me so much of Dorothy. I know that this passage in Timothy deals with the worthiness of widows but it also speaks of a Christian woman fulfilling her roles. Listen to the words of Timothy: