This remarkable story actually made national news. Pauline Jacobi had just finished putting her groceries into her car trunk in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Dyersburg, Tennessee. As she got into the driver's seat a man slid into the front passenger seat and told her he had a gun and wanted all her money.
Mrs. Jacobi was ninety-two years old and reads her Bible every single day. She has a halo of blue tinted gray hair and gold wire-rimmed glasses. A snappy dresser, she takes care to look her best with tastefully applied make-up and manicured nails and looks considerably younger than her years.
Mentally, she is sharp as a tack. However, the cadence of her speech, which is laced with a thick Southern accent, betrays her age as do the gnarled, arthritic knuckles of her hands. Her face is still lovely and exhibits the wrinkles and lines of a life well lived.
She looked at the threatening stranger and said, "No! I'm not gonna give you my money", standing firm as she reiterated her decision no less than three times. Mrs. Jacobi then informed the man, "As quick as you kill me, I'll go to heaven and you'll go to hell!" She advised him to ask God for forgiveness and told him "Jesus is in this car and He goes with me everywhere I go."
The would-be robber was totally confounded and stared at his surroundings as tears began to fill his eyes. She proceeded to witness and minister to this young man for more than ten minutes as they continued to sit in the car. He told her " I think I'll go home and pray tonight." "You don't have to wait until tonight; you can pray any time you want to" she assured.
As he sat there openly weeping, she voluntarily reached into her purse and gave him all the money she had; ten dollars. "Don't you go spending this on whiskey either!" she admonished with a gentle smile. He thanked her for the money and to her surprise and delight, he leaned over and kissed her soft, wrinkled cheek, then got out of the car and simply walked away.
Although I have never met Mrs. Pauline Jacobi, I think I can make some educated assumptions about this spunky lady. She was probably born and reared in the South and has most likely been a long time Christian who takes her relationship with God very seriously.
I doubt that she has accomplished anything noteworthy that the world in general would think impressive. Considering the era in which she was born she most likely married young and raised her children with proper Southern manners, expecting good grades and ensuring they paid attention to their Sunday School lessons. I can just imagine a blessing was given before each meal she took pride in cooking and serving her family.
I have to assume she is a widow now, still living in the home she shared with her husband for decades. The television interview revealed lace curtains and flowered wall paper hanging in her living room with crocheted doilies draping the back of a well used couch and chair. A home that is safe and familiar, reverberating with priceless memories of joy, sorrow, love, laughter and the hard work of many years.
In those few minutes of what was undoubtedly a terrifying ordeal, this little elderly saint did more for the Kingdom of God than most of us will ever accomplish. She showed the grace and love of Christ to a very lost and lonely soul. Only in heaven will she know the end result of what could have been the sacrifice of her very life.
Because of the tenderness and courage she displayed perhaps that young man will give his life to Christ and go on to lead many others to the Lord. Who knows what he might achieve in days to come due to her witness?
It makes me wonder how I would have reacted in the same situation. Would I have fought back? Panicked and handed my cash to the assailant? Or would I have the calm quiet courage of a ninety-two year old lady who wants to take advantage of every chance she gets to tell others about the Savior she loves? Maybe one day I can produce as much for God's Kingdom as Mrs. Pauline Jacobi did in those few minutes.
I am certain of one thing; I bet her actions resulted in a celebration among the angels as well as causing a huge grin to appear on the face of the Master she serves.
Donna Wasson is all of the following: Married. Mom. Hospice RN. Avid reader. Animal lover. Needing to spread the Gospel while there is still time.
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