A Rare Diamond

Inez and Noel Taylor

For ten dollars, you can spend the day sifting through 37 acres of plowed field in Arkansas searching for gems at the eighth-largest diamond producing volcanic crater in the world. Any diamonds you find are yours to keep. I spent the day there without much success.

I have been collecting diamonds my entire life, just not the kind you may be thinking. I lost one of those diamonds 14 years ago when Mrs. Inez Taylor passed away. Mrs. Taylor may be best known for authoring the 75th anniversary history book of Illinois WMU. She provided years of dedicated service to WMU. Mrs. Taylor’s leadership responsibilities included literacy consultant, WMU Training School trustee, associational WMU director, Young Women’s Auxiliary chairman, and Illinois WMU prayer chairman.

When I was a college student, Mrs. Taylor took me under her wing. She gave me leadership responsibilities on the Nine Mile Baptist Associational WMU Council. As I look back, I am amazed they entrusted someone so young and inexperienced with associational duties. Now I understand it was an investment in a mentoring process. I will always be grateful for her gentle teaching and guidance.

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor gave of their own personal time and money to take me to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to look at the campus. One of my favorite memories is of Mrs. Taylor showing me each point in the Carver School building as she recounted her days at the WMU Training School. I was too young and uninformed to know Dr. and Mrs. Taylor were giants in Illinois Baptist life. They were simply Inez and Noel—a kind, gracious, and generous couple.

Inez had a contagious passion for missions and WMU. See if you can understand her zeal by reading her own words:

 

“A diamond is a girl’s best friend,” is an old saying. This is a valid claim. A diamond is beautiful. It is valuable. It is a rare gem. It is the most enduring stone known and is the only stone that will cut another diamond. It comes in a variety of colors. A pure diamond is always highly desirable. . . . Missions is the story of the best friend a girl or woman ever had. It is a beautiful story with intrinsic value. The people who carry the story have rare qualities. This story cuts like a two-edged sword. It is colorful in its presentation. The truth of it is greatly desired. And, to be committed to the story of missions and the Savior about whom it speaks, requires pure love.

—Inez Taylor, Facets of a Diamond

 

Inez was a diamond in the life of WMU. She had rare qualities and intrinsic value. Take a moment to appreciate the diamonds in your life.


Father,

Thank You for the abundant riches of leaders who were willing to look beyond my inadequacies and offer their wisdom and encouragement. Give me the courage and strength to make that kind of impact on the lives of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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