Every time I saw Mandy Kelly she had a smile on her face. She even dressed sunshiny to match her personality. She made everyone feel like they were special and worth her time just by the countenance of her face. She embodied the joy of the Lord before she ever spoke a word.
Mandy blogged at Worshipful Living. I didn’t know who she was when she walked into my mentoring session at the 2:1 Conference in Kitty Hawk back in 2015. But, within a few moments of meeting her, I realized this girl was going to be unforgettable. In fact, I wouldn’t doubt that every single person at the conference knew Mandy by the end of the weekend.
Because her smile wasn’t just painted on – it was real, genuine, penetrating to your very soul. She loved people. It was Christ in her – reaching out and loving others – whether you were sitting at the same table with her or sitting across the room listening to her contagious laughter.
She was the face of ministry.
Just as YOU are the face of ministry. Wherever you go, you are speaking volumes before you ever speak a word. It’s the smile you give to the elderly woman in the corner. The nod of understanding you offer to the frazzled mom in the checkout line. It’s in the hug, and the pat on the back, and the handshake. It’s in the time you take to listen to a neighbor. It’s in the snuggles on the couch with your children. It’s in these simple pauses of your life that you minister to others.
Last week, Mandy met her Savior. A house fire claimed her life as well as that of her husband, daughter, and baby son. When I heard the news, I could hardly wrap my mind around it. And then the gravity of it all set in. Two of her children did not die in that fire. Two children who lost their mother to cancer when they were younger, now lost their mother and father and siblings to fire. The pain of it all felt too great.
But, God is there. He will not forget those children, and I pray someone – perhaps even someone who has no idea what has happened – will pause and take the time to be the face of ministry for them. Just as their mom was to others – a smile in a crowded room – a voice from her porch on Facebook Live – a sweet spirit using the pauses of her life wisely. Often, we don’t know who we are ministering to. We are simply a face in a sea of people. But, someday, we will know, just as Mandy now knows.
Many of us in the online community have joined together to pay tribute to Mandy. Please visit the links below to read from the links and learn more about who Mandy was. I’d also encourage you to visit her Facebook page and consider contributing either by purchasing products from her store or by donating. And as we all grieve the loss of a friend and fellow blogger, we also realized Mandy is hearing what we all long to hear someday…
May that always be the prize we keep our eye on.