The Glittery Life of Sandy Rufener

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Glitter.

According to wikipedia.com, “glitter is an assortment of small, reflective particles that come in a variety of shapes and colors. Glitter particles reflect light at different angles, causing the surface to sparkle or shimmer. “

Glitter brings “life” to a surface on which it is applied.

Glitter, reflected by light, can bring sparkles into a room.

Glitter is almost impossible to hide. Even after thorough cleaning, there seems to be at least one piece of glitter remaining, sparkling at the most unexpected moment.

“Hey- you have glitter on your face!” Has anyone ever said that to you?

Glitter leaves a mark. It can even create a lasting memory.

Friday.

On Friday morning, I awoke to an unexpected text. “Sad news!!!! Sandy Rufener died in her sleep last night…..”

Sandy Rufener, a woman full of sparkle, who lit up a room, creating glittery situations both figuratively and literally, had unexpectedly passed away.

On Thursday night, Sandy retired to her bed. Sometime before Friday morning, she awoke with Jesus, more alive than ever.

Heaven’s Alarm Clock

Wow. What a glorious “alarm clock” awakening that must have been, to fall asleep having again served her Heavenly Father that day, by impacting others in Sandy’s special way; but then awakening to see that Heavenly Father face to face. Bright. Shiny. Sparkly. I would imagine, glitter was everywhere.

I wonder what the conversation was like Sandy’s first morning in Heaven. We all anticipate the “well done, good and faithful servant” greeting. But I can only imagine there had to be more.

In her final day on this earth, Sandy was praying for people, encouraging people, shining her special glitter on each person she encountered. She was doing the Lord’s work, and then suddenly, Sandy was in the presence of The Lord.

Thoughts and Questions

A lot of thoughts went through my mind on that Friday, as I prayed for her family and close friends.

Why hadn’t I pursued, more in earnest, that 50th anniversary interview I wanted to do with her and Dave for TV?

Wow, she sure inspired me to keep going when I was in the toughest moments of cancer. Her ability to encourage was amazing.

I wonder what hair colors exist in Heaven? That one I actually found myself pondering with a smile.

Encouraging to Her Final Breath

On May 21, in her 3rd final day on Earth, at  4:21pm, Sandy encouraged her Facebook friends with this: “Praise is an expression of faith and an act of the will.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your name forever.” Psalm 86:12

Later that same day, 9:42pm: Troubles help us learn. “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27.

May 22, her 2nd final day on Earth, at 6:21am, Sandy shared: Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” Luke 11:28

And then at 1:44pm that same day, “Praise demonstrates faith that God is greater than any circumstance we are facing. Faith pleases God – that is why He loves it when we choose to praise Him regardless of how we feel.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss

On May 23 6:15am, it was Sandy’s last Facebook post. “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone.” John 1:4

And then it was finished. God knew. God knew Sandy was going to wake up in His presence.

It’s easy to ask “why?” Age 73 is young. Sandy was on the job for God. Had Sandy lived more days on this Earth, I am certain she would have continued to live her life for Christ. She would have shared more Scripture. She would have prayed with others. She would have continued to exude Christ’s light. Why would God not want those things to happen?

But God is not a God of mistakes. We may not understand His timeline, but we trust His timeline is perfect, even when we cannot understand why.

Glitter

So now, we’re left with Sandy’s glitter, and I believe there’s a lot of it down here. If you ever met Sandy, then there’s at least one piece of glitter stuck on you. There’s glitter in Lima’s restaurants. There’s glitter on her family. There’s glitter on the dozens of students she taught, ministry groups she led, and activities she attended.

My research on glitter indicates that glitter has been on this planet for thousands of years, possibly since the day God created the Heavens and Earth. Sandy used sparkle, color, and a lot of shine to spread Jesus glory.

And now, Sandy is in glory. I still can’t help but wonder, what hair colors exist in Heaven. How many of them has Sandy already tried? And just how sparkly is the glitter there? Someday we will be with her again, and how fun it will be to know the answers.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Sandy has shared her glitter on my family off & on ever since my kids were her students & friends at Temple Christian School, so this tribute brought a lump to my throat. She will be greatly missed by multitudes of us who are wearing a bit of her glitter & prayers go out for her family & loved ones!

  2. This article on Sandy Rufener is very accurate of her personality, her character, and the positivity of her being. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Sandy a long time. Every time I’d see her face to face or from a distance, she always had an effect on people that poured out happiness from her to everyone around her. Didn’t matter what she was wearing, she always had glitter on her. Even if I was 10 feet away, I would notice a glitter speck or two later on me. It reminded me to be happy, and always remind me of Sandy’s positive influence to everyone she came in contact with. She will be missed, not just by her family, but by thousands who she came in contact with directly or indirectly..

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