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Beloved teacher was light for the Lord
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You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet.

You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lamp stand, and it shines on all who are in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 

(Common English Bible)

When I was a little girl, I loved storms. Of course, they were frightening, but as long as my parents and grandmother were around, it wasn’t so scary. We would huddle together if the storm became too bad.

And I remember that we always went on a hunt for the kerosene lamp and matches when it looked like we were going to have a "humdinger of a storm." Oftentimes, we would lose electricity during the storm as the winds howled and the lightning flashed.

But when the rain started, a peace came over our house like at no other time. You see, we lived in an 1898 farmhouse with a tin roof, and when the rain beat down upon the roof, it made a soothing, pinging sound that would sing us to sleep in the middle of the roughest weather.

This week, our community has experienced a storm as we have lost a beloved church member, community member and longtime teacher of music at Newton High School, Patricia Haymore.  

We have stood with the family during frightening times when the storm of leukemia was raging, and we have felt the peace of Christ at the darkest times when all hope seemed lost. Like a little girl searching for a kerosene lamp in a thunderstorm, we have searched for the light of Christ in these days, and Christ has provided both light and peace during these times.

Jesus once said, "You are the light of the world." Truly, Mrs. Pat was a light for the Lord as she lived for God and worked to help others. Her love for the Lord was evident in everything she did. 

Her light has shone on her family, on her church family, on her community, and on others so that when she was around, it was never dark.

We see her good works in the lives of family, friends and students whom she touched, and we will continue to glorify God for the light of Christ in her eyes. We will miss her, but a little of her shines on in each of us if we love the Lord. 

Let your light shine. Be a light to a dark world. Then others will see your light and glorify God for the life that you live.

Mrs. Pat, we love you and will miss your bright smile and your compassionate heart, but we will be a little more loving, a little more caring, and a little more like Christ, and we will praise God for you because we knew you.

Let your light shine. Others are watching, and through you, God is making a difference in their lives.

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at