Our Pop, Jerry Bryant, was a man of great faith, praying for others everyday. Wherever our Pop went he quietly shared his faith and prayed for people he felt in need. He usually held the hand of the person for whom he prayed and often, as he finished praying for them, he would remove his hand from theirs leaving behind a small pewter pocket cross just like the one we wish to give to you. He would always tell them, “Remember you are never alone. God loves you!”
Our brother David travels a great deal in his business. One day on a flight from Phoenix to Sacramento he noticed a pleasant lady in a bright red dress boarding the same flight as his. The flight was full and she was boarding before him so he did not have the occasion to speak with her. He finished his business in Sacramento and was returning to Phoenix later that same day. As he approached the boarding area at the airport, there was the same lady in the bright red dress. As they were standing in the boarding area David started a casual conversation with her. They were discussing the interesting people you meet when traveling, then about other people, such as parents, or a pastor, or a priest, or certain school teachers and the impact they had on your life. The conversation continued as they sat next to one another on the plane.
After talking for a time the woman told David the story of a man she met on a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago who changed her life. She had been going through some very difficult times in her job and her marriage; she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer; and had experienced a recent death in her family. She told David, “This sweet, gentle, man was seated next to her and listened intently all the way to Chicago as she bared her soul. Just before they landed he asked if he could pray for her. She answered, “Yes, please.” After praying for her he left in her hand the little cross.
She pulled the cross from her purse and said, “This little gift from that gentle soul has changed my life forever and I don’t even know his name! I only need to hold this in my hand and I am comforted. I know that God is always with me.” Our brother filled will awe and tears in his eyes reached into his pocket to show her an identical little cross and said, “It’s just like mine? “ She replied, “Oh, yes! Do you know him?” David answered with a catch in his throat, “Yes, that was my Pop, Jerry Bryant.”
With millions of people in the U.S. what are the chances that David would encounter someone that our Pop touched? The miracle of that meeting was a life-changing experience for my brother. He realized that the faith of one caring and kind soul through a simple act of kindness can change lives. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way. So always look for God in others.
At Pop’s Celebration of Life memorial service David told the story of the cross and Lady in the Red Dress. He gave all those in attendance a cross and asked, “Whenever you find someone in need, please give them your cross just like Pops used to do. Tell them the story of the Lady in the Red Dress and be sure to tell them that “God loves you”.
To paraphrase Psalm 139, “Remember, you are never alone…God is always with you.” That was Pop’s favorite psalm! Thanks for letting us share this story with you. We would like to take this opportunity to anoint you as one of Jerry’s Angels by asking you to share this story and cross with anyone who is in need.
IN MEMORY OF OUR POP
FEBRUARY 23, 1914 – NOVEMBER 10, 2000
THANKS FOR REMEMBERING OUR POP! Penny Bartenstein, Linda Osburn and David Bryant
To receive your cross contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 602-953-6686.