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Lily in the Valleys

Lily in the Valleys

Back in the day, Stella and her twin sister Greta were social butterflies on the scenes in Arlington, Virginia. The Miller twins, Stella and Greta, often threw lavish parties at their palatial house on Warrenton Drive.

Dressed to the nines, plenty of folks poured into the crystal glass doors to dance, mingle and dine at the grand galas. More than a few local A-listers were spread throughout the crowded, fabulously decorated rooms.

Invitations from the Miller twins were coveted indeed. The snobbish party goers considered “out of the loop” those who weren’t “fortunate” enough to join the festivities at the Miller abode. The food, the music, the crowds, the fashions — oh my. For weeks the events were the talk of the town.

The Miller galas went on for years until — the Lord drew Stella and Greta into blessed salvation through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. They discovered contentment and joys beyond anything they’d ever experienced before.

Fast forward:

Stella and Greta, spinsters, re-located to a modest area in Virginia. They downsized considerably and moved into a small, rambler brick house.

The twins are content to live quietly together on Honeysuckle Lane. They love gardening and playing bridge, once a week, with their small circle of Christian friends — yep, the treasured golden citizens.

Regularly, Stella and Greta walk to the home of Archie and Melba to fellowship and Bible study. Archie is so adept at expounding on spiritual matters about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He welcomes what others are led to share. It’s truly an interactive gathering that enlightens all who attend.

Sadly, just a few years later, Stella is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The sisters long suspected that Stella had it but they prolonged getting an official diagnosis. Eventually, Stella has to be placed in a nursing home; her condition has become too much for Greta to handle. Reluctantly, Greta places Stella in Starlight Nursing Home.

The separation tears at the core of Greta’s soul. Yes, she visits her dear sister who now only retains a small measure of recollections.

Stella loves music still — and dances in Starlight to the delight of her fellow residents and some of the staff members.

Visits help to ease the heartache for Greta, but it’s not the same as having Stella in her constant midst. Oh, how she aches for her twin.

One afternoon as Greta sits in her rocking chair reading her well-worn black leather Bible, her spirit stirs with concern. Immediately after, she gets a phone call from Linda, a staff member at Starlight. Stella has been missing for hours. Starlight staff thought they’d find her in the building or nearby on the grounds. When that didn’t happen, it was deemed necessary to call 911 and then Greta.

After speaking with Linda, Greta rushes outside to the patio. She drops to her knees and looks upward to the sky. Fervently, she prays . . .

Tears streaming, Greta gets up and notices a Monarch butterfly perched on the arm of the wrought iron, cushion-covered patio chair. She deems the winged creature as a sign of hope. Greta thanks the Lord for the obvious message of encouragement.

In about forty-five minutes, Greta gets a call from Starlight; it’s Linda again.

Stella has been found sitting in a public garden a few miles from Starlight. Precisely, where in the garden was she found? Sitting among the lilies surrounded by their vibrant beauty — accompanied by butterflies that flutter and land in displays of splendor on the petals of the stunning multi-colored lilies. Stella is serene in posture — in the garden . . .

Song of Solomon 2:1, 2 – KJV

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

John 19:41 – KJV

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

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