Our sweet mentor and beloved friend, Betty Walthour Skinner, has gone home with the angels into the outstretched arms of Jesus. We will miss her terribly, but rejoice that she is free from pain at last and face to face with the One she has loved so well. She had no fear of death and looked forward with joyous anticipation for its merciful release into the Light. These are her words.
Death is intertwined with life, and to embrace it without fear is to embrace all of life with a burning and infinite passion. We are born out of Love and will die into Love. Thus, eternal life is not a perpetual future, but rather a perpetual Presence.
Betty often spoke about the room with a beautiful view of the mountains that she had asked her best friend Jesus for and told us that He had prepared one for her six thousand feet up in the high hemlock forests of heaven. Her beloved mountains were the sacred place of her healing and freedom.
Out of the earth rise the mountains. From the rim of the meadow, withered with moss, Rises the falcon in his feathered cloth. Through the soft rain, mist glistening like mica, The quilts of wildflowers begin again. When I die, I would like to die On a day of mist and mica and of rain. Descending rain, ascending rain, endless rain, The kind I know will never end. My ceremony, One of shoveled ashes, Shoveled out into the sky, Free of sorrow and the pain of letting go, Free to soar to heights Like the falcon in his feathered cloth. BWS
The thread that runs through Betty’s life and writings is enduring trust in God’s loving presence in all things and an intense desire that her life be poured out for others. Her story bears witness to the truth that God is a self-bestowing God who persistently presses in to meet, to change, and to fill us in our most profound need with healing love, bringing us into oneness with Him and with each other and with all of creation. It is a deep and abiding testimony to the existence of a Reality that will transform the lives of those human souls who are free and open enough to receive it and who are willing to persevere in this holy work. 1 Her writings are the fruit of Love in mystical understanding, born not simply out of the intellect or information but rather out of her sacred encounters with the Beloved. It is our privilege to offer you the gifts that came from her suffering and perseverance in the hope that her story might light a path for your healing into wholeness and make you a little more homesick for God.
Our saintly friend has come to the end of her journey now. Though we will no longer have her physical presence, she will continue to gently reach out to us in spirit, perhaps even more deeply now, saying, “Take His hand now, even as I am offering you mine, and in the warmth of such an all-compelling love, let us follow Him together.”
I join hands with others and the earth, Step into this costly dance. For eternal is the wheel, and endless is the dance That grinds the seasons of the soul Where nothing falls but into Life. Grace brought me to this place, This gentle hill and ground Where all Beauty is first found. My story lies upon it. I rest beside it in the dark. For what I found, I am. And where I am is Home. Betty W. Skinner Born: February 9, 1926 Reborn: August 17, 2021