Eighty years of plain, simple, humble, Christlike goodness

(J.R. Miller, "The Glory of the Commonplace")

Not long ago, an aged Christian woman closed her earthly life. She had lived always in very plain circumstances. She had very little education. She had no peculiar gift for any distinct form of Christian activity. She had never taught a Sunday-school class, nor led a woman's prayer meeting, nor taken part in a missionary society, nor been connected with any sort of Christian association.

But for sixty of her eighty years she had been a true, earnest and sincere Christian. She had been a faithful wife, and a loving, self-denying mother. She had brought up her family in the fear of the Lord. She had lived a quiet, patient, gentle Christian life.

Around her coffin there sat a large circle of her descendants — her own children and grandchildren. Her life-story was a record, not of any great deeds, nor of any fine things done — but of eighty years of plain, simple, humble, Christlike goodness. Yet it never can be known until the Judgment Day, when the books shall be opened, what blessings that humble life left at its close in the world. Its silent, unconscious influence poured out through all the long years into other lives, making them nobler, happier, holier, sweeter.

Such a ministry of goodness is within the reach of every Christian. It requires no brilliant gifts, and no great wealth. It is a ministry which the plainest and the lowliest may fulfill. Its influence is incalculable!