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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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In the furnace room

During my college years, Charlotte, a member of the school custodial staff, found me in a rest room crying my eyes out. She put her arm around me and asked how she could help.

Charlotte told me she knew a Savior who cared about every detail of our lives. She said that if I would trust her with my hurt, she would be glad to pray with me. So began a sweet relationship between us and a closer walk with Christ for me.

At lunchtime, Charlotte and I would join the other custodial staff in a furnace room and talk about the stuff of life. When our talk turned to the Lord, the others snickered and left us alone. But Charlotte and I read Scripture and prayed, discussed our doubts and frustrations, and celebrated our victories. After a few weeks the others came to respect our time together and quietly listened as we prayed. Sometimes they would ask us to pray for them too.

The following year, my studies moved to a new building, one without Charlotte. We kept in touch through letters and phone calls. Charlotte remained one of my closest friends despite our 40-year age difference.

Charlotte had no children, but she opened her heart to the college students around her, especially to me. She retired and moved to Florida, and I've had no word for years, but my memory of Charlotte and her love of Jesus hasn't faded.



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April issue

APRIL issue:

Faith traditions

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