Dorothy Crace was, by most everyone’s definition, a saint. Now I don’t believe you have to die to be made a saint. The Bible says we are “saints” when we become Christians. Unfortunately, we don’t all act like one.
But Dorothy did. From the earliest memories I have of her, she was a model of the faith; faithful wife, faithful church member, faithful choir member, faithful supporter of all things Southern Baptist. She “threw” our bridal shower, was a model in so many ways for Pam and many, many, other young girls.
Her husband, Carl, was a man’s man even though he was a hairdresser by profession. He was also a woodworker and a Sunday School teacher for middle school boys. The Crace’s “graced” our church in so many ways and were friends to my family.
Last week, Dorothy went home to meet her Savior face-to-face and to see her husband who had died several years ago. She deserved the reward she received. She was, after all, a saint.
But as much as she loved the ministry of the local church she loved the Gospel going forward to the nations. She led our church in missions and, while I can’t prove it, I am certain she and her husband topped the list of givers to Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong each year.
Dorothy served as a trustee for the International Mission Board for many years and would tell stories of the work of Southern Baptist missionary causes around the world. She embodied and taught missions for many young people in our church.
Mrs. Dorothy died due to mesothelioma, and spent the last months of her life in a care facility in my hometown of Ashland, Ky. During her time there, someone brought a little jar for candy that she kept after the candy was gone. And she turned that jar into a donation site for a Lottie Moon offering.
I don’t know for sure, but I’m confident that many heard the amazing story of the little missionary who lived, loved and died for the unreached in China and of the Savior she loved. And she collected change for the Lottie Moon Offering from all who entered her room.
A few days before her death, her pastor stopped by to visit and she asked him to count the change. There was forty-five dollars in the jar. “Oh,” she lamented. “I had set my goal for $50.”
Dorothy, to her dying day, lived to help others hear the Good News.
Because that’s what saints do.