A woman of God

Jamaica Gleaner - - FOOTPRINTS -

On Au­gust 8, 1940, Amos and Ad­lyn Davis wel­comed their daugh­ter Caro­line into their hearts and the world.

She was the 14th child of 17. Since then, the lit­tle vil­lage of Roses Val­ley in St El­iz­a­beth has been touched by the life of this re­mark­able woman, Caro­line Gar­dener, who has been eu­lo­gised as a true woman of God. Gar­dener was a de­vout Chris­tian and she has been lauded as one of the found­ing mem­bers of the Bethabra Bap­tist Church. She cred­ited her faith in God and her in­volve­ment in church with for all her suc­cesses. She of­ten boasted that when she stopped go­ing to school due to the teas­ing she re­ceived, be­cause of her hear­ing im­ped­i­ment, it was at Sun­day school that she learnt to read and write.

‘Stacar­rie’, as she was af­fec­tion­ately called, be­lieved in giv­ing. She made her liveli­hood from farm­ing, but some per­sons be­lieved that she gave away more of her pro­duce than she sold. Her meals were al­ways pre­pared with enough to spare for passers-by. Her apron pock­ets al­ways had sweets, which she gen­er­ously shared. She gave not only what she had but gave of her­self as well. She en­joyed her duty of clean­ing the church. She al­ways had an en­cour­ag­ing word. Even when she be­came in­di­gent, those who vis­ited her al­ways left with a re­newed spirit.

Gar­dener had a spe­cial gift; she had a dis­cern­ing spirit which was sus­tained by her deep spir­i­tual life in Christ. She could of­ten tell when some­thing was go­ing to hap­pen be­fore it did. This was of­ten a mar­vel, es­pe­cially to non-be­liev­ers. She was also feared and revered be­cause if you did any­thing wrong, when­ever you vis­ited her she was able to tell you. How­ever, she was never judge­men­tal.

Her union with Mr Laddy Gar­dener pro­duced six chil­dren. They ex­tended the line to in­clude 15 grand­chil­dren and seven, great grand­chil­dren. Her hus­band, one child and 15 sib­lings pre­de­ceased her.

On Au­gust 19, 2016 Caro­line Gar­dener wrote the fi­nal line in that chap­ter of her life, but her foot­prints re­main to guide those who will fol­low in her path.

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