13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. Matthew 19:13-15
Last week I made a hospital visit to see long-time friend, Norma Harden. I have had her on my mind since then. She is the 90 year old mother of two of my childhood friends, Dennis and Brian Church. The picture above is circa 1961 and includes from left to right, Mike Washington, myself, David Smith, Brian and Dennis Church. We are sporting our hand me down Sand Springs Home Baseball uniforms. The uniforms are probably from the early 50’s. Looking good, don’t you think?
We spent our childhood and teen years together during the late 50’s and 60’s in a place called “The Widow’s Colony” in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. The Colony was comprised of thirty small 3 room houses all in a row, full of kids with working moms. As I look back, it was a good place for a kid to grow up but because it was a place absent of dads, it was also a place where a kid could get into mischief. And I certainly got into plenty of that.
The Sand Springs Home and Widow’s Colony were founded by oil man Charles Page during the Oklahoma oil boom in the early 20th century. He was a generous man who impacted hundreds of children through the years and continues to impact the lives of children today. Both of these institutions still exist.
My mother and the younger 4 of 9 siblings moved to the Colony around 1957. We ended up there after the death of my dad, a dairy farmer about three years previous. Through no fault of hers we moved off of the dairy soon after his death and eventually moved from Sperry to Sand Springs just before my 2nd grade year. My mother rode the bus to work in Tulsa from early morning till late evening and took on side jobs just to make ends meet. It was the same for all the moms from the Widows Colony.
I don’t remember going to church much in those days. I don’t think many of the colony kids did. But not so with Brian and Dennis Church, their mom, Norma Harden took them to church every time the church doors were open. Only I didn’t know her as Norma Harden back then. She had not remarried. I knew her as Mrs. Church. She gave me, my sister and my brother a ride to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and other church meetings all through my childhood and early teen years. She truly was the original “CHURCH LADY”.
Well I just want to give a shout out to Norma Harden. She is a true “Bringer” of people to Jesus. She certainly was instrumental in bringing me to church and at age 15, “Jesus placed His hand on me”. When I think of the way my life could have gone, I’m grateful to this lady who brought me to church. We should all follow her example and bring someone with us to Jesus. God speed to you Norma … Mrs. Church.
Check out our Web Site@ www.refocuschurch.org
Like us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/refocuspastor
Follow us on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/refocuspastor