Reba Butler is the woman who wore purple. It was simply her favorite color. She loved to wear this color, decorate her house with this color, and of course, her Christmas tree was always decorated with purple. She simply was the woman who loved and wore purple.
Anytime I think of purple, I think of Reba Butler or Grandma Butler as I call her. I met this lovely lady when I was still in high school and I was dating her grandson. She had such a way about making you feel so welcome when you were in her presence. She made me feel accepted and loved from the moment I met her. When I think of purple now, it makes me want to welcome others in my life just like she welcomed me into hers.
As I got to know the lady in purple, I started to learn about what was most important to her. Her relationship with God was at the top of that list. It was not simply a religion, but a life style. It wasn’t just how she accepted and loved others that stood out. It was how she lived out her ministry. She ministered in so many ways, but one that continues to impact me the most was her role as a 2nd grade Sunday School teacher. She taught in the same 2nd grade Sunday School class for over 50 years -let me say that again- “over 50 years”. For 50 years, she was able to love on and speak the truth of the gospel to sweet 2nd graders. My husband, her grandson, was one of those 2nd graders she taught. The amount of time she spent teaching and loving 2nd graders tells me a lot about her character. Think about how the curriculum must have changed over those 50 years. The differences in children ministers. All the changes in how children are incorporated in a church and she stayed with the same age for 5 decades. Needless to say when I see purple, I think of commitment and consistency.
welcoming spirit love commitment consistency
These are just a few things I have seen and learned from this amazing woman. And honestly, I married into this family, this legacy. The impact she has had on my husband, his brothers, and their cousins... well I simply do not have the words to tell how this amazing woman impacted all of them. But she did, I see it in their eyes today.
Today we are celebrating her life and we are mourning her death. She lost her battle with ovarian cancer last thursday, but won her battle of sin and death because of a choice she made many many years before to give her heart and life to Christ. Today in honor of this beautiful woman the grandkids wore purple. And I am crying as I write this post because this amazing woman in purple has impacted my life on so many levels. I am so very honored that I was able to be touched by her life and that I have had the privilege to be apart of her legacy. The lady who wore purple is not gone. She now lives in heaven with her Savior. And someday I will get to see her again...