A Love More Costly than Gold
American Bible Society partner Lynda Wyer sold a precious treasure to share the Bible with others.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
A Modern-Day Miracle
When Lynda Wyer wants to describe her late husband, Andy, all she has to do is open her Bible.
Like Samson, Andy was what Lynda likes to call a “manly man.” For a season of life, Andy even boasted long, Samson-like hair. Like Boaz, Andy was a loving husband, a dependable father, and a faithful farmer. Like Jonathan, Andy was a loyal friend who never had an unkind word to say about anyone. Like Paul, Andy was a man of God’s Word, spending an hour every day studying the Bible. (“He would get irritated if I interrupted his studies!” Lynda laughs.)
But perhaps the most surprising Bible character Lynda could use to describe her husband is Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. You see, like Lazarus, Andy Wyer didn’t die just once.
He died twice.
“It all began with Andy’s death on an operating table when he was 17 years old,” Lynda explains. “He and his brother had been riding motorcycles when a car full of teenagers drove by and struck Andy in the head with a full bottle of beer.”
After operating for 19 hours and inserting 19 plates into his fractured skull, the doctors somehow saved young Andy from an untimely death. But, according to Lynda, that’s only half of the story.
“Andy died during that operation,” Lynda says. “He remembered looking down at his body and having a conversation with Jesus. Andy let Jesus know that he really wanted to have a family and children. He asked Jesus if he could go back. And Jesus granted his request.”
Reflecting on this miraculous testimony later in her life, Lynda was overwhelmed by the realization that, as Andy’s wife and the mother of his children, she had been specifically chosen by Jesus to be the answer to Andy’s prayer.
“I knew that Andy must have been a very special man if God answered his prayer like that,” Lynda says. “I always felt very privileged to be his wife.”
A Timeless Love Story
Of course, as with any good love story, Lynda and Andy’s romance didn’t blossom overnight. After briefly crossing paths while studying music in college (“He played French horn, and I played saxophone,” Lynda says, “but he wasn’t of interest to me at the time!”), Lynda got a job working the Christmas season at a jewelry counter run by Andy’s mother.
“We ended up working together,” Lynda says. “He was supposed to work a four-hour shift, and then I was supposed to take over for him and work a four-hour shift. But whenever Andy finished his shift, he just stuck around! We got acquainted that way. My interest in him grew.”
As it turns out, Andy’s interest in Lynda was growing as well.
“Andy asked me to get married, but I wasn’t too keen on the idea,” Lynda says. “My parents divorced when I was 16, and I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me. But Andy insisted, ‘If you want me, you’re going to have to marry me.’”
Lynda accepted Andy’s marriage proposal—but there was a catch.
“I was so ornery at that time,” Lynda recalls. “I told Andy flippantly, ‘Well if you can have my ring for me by Valentine’s Day, I guess so.’ I also gave him many specific requirements for the ring. It couldn’t be perfectly round. I wanted it to be wavy.”
Two months wasn’t a lot of time for Andy, a gemologist, to produce such a complicated ring. But for a man in love, it was all the time in the world.
“He had the ring for me by New Year’s Day,” Lynda says. “That’s how interested he was! His commitment was really inspiring to me. That ring became very precious to me in many ways.”
Andy and Lynda were married on March 11, 1972, and Lynda is already looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary in March of 2022. Yet this joyous milestone will be tinged with sadness as Lynda grieves the husband and companion that she lost in 2016, when a farming accident precipitated Andy’s second journey from this earth into the presence of his Savior. “I always held Andy with my hands opened,” Lynda says. “I had him on borrowed time, really. He had already died once.”
Andy’s second death confirmed for Lynda what she already knew—that she had been blessed to live her married life with a very special man, indeed.
“There wasn’t even standing room at his funeral. If the fire department made an issue of it, a bunch of people would have had to leave!” she remembers. “He was well loved and a lover of people.”
An Unthinkable Gift
All of this makes the next part of Lynda’s story even more incredible—when she decided to give away the precious wedding rings that had belonged to her and Andy.
“My children are all married and have their own wedding rings. My grandchildren are all girls, so they won’t be interested in our wedding rings,” Lynda explains. “So, when Andy and I are both dead and gone, our wedding rings would wind up in some drawer or safety deposit box and just go to waste! I decided that I needed to do something about that.”
What did Lynda do with the rings that meant so much to her and Andy before and during their marriage? Lynda can answer that question with a single sentence:
“I decided to put them to good use for the Lord’s work!”
Specifically, the Lord laid it on Lynda’s heart to sell their wedding rings and donate the proceeds to American Bible Society.
“I was thinking of how many people die every day without knowing the Lord,” Lynda explains. “Getting Bibles to them is important. I had a real unction to get to it! I didn’t want time to lapse that didn’t have to.”
Lynda’s bold act of generosity was also inspired by a famous Christian poem by Charles Studd.
“‘Only one life ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.’ In other words,” Lynda explains, “do for Christ what can be done now. You might not get a chance later!”
Through an advertisement on her local Christian radio station, Lynda discovered a Christian jeweler who was interested in purchasing gold and silver.
“I gathered up all the gold and silver I could think of that we had around our house—spoons, cufflinks, and jewelry,” Lynda says. “When I told the jeweler that I was trading in my wedding rings in order to buy Bibles, the boss told me he would give me top dollar for them.”
But—just like when Lynda accepted Andy’s marriage proposal 50 years before—there was a catch.
“The jeweler returned my wedding ring to me because the particular cut of stone is not in style right now,” Lynda says. “But I still got more money from Andy’s ring and my other valuables than I had been hoping to get with my wedding ring!”
In true God-like fashion, the Lord returned to Lynda the very treasure she had wholeheartedly sacrificed to him for his kingdom work.
“I was just blown away when God returned the ring to me!” she says. “Now I can continue wearing it in honor of my late husband. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of Heaven, because the streets there are paved with gold.”
As for the money that Lynda received from her other valuables?
“I immediately took the money to the bank and wrote my check to American Bible Society,” Lynda says. “I’m sure, without a doubt, that Andy would have wanted his wedding ring to go to Christ’s great cause of seeing souls saved and lives changed. He would have been totally committed to that
cause—especially from his perspective in Heaven!”
And—with her gorgeous, wavy wedding band still proudly displayed on her finger—Lynda is as committed as ever to using her hands, her feet, and her story to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those in need of salvation, including some of you who are reading her testimony right now.
“Andy is in Heaven, and he is looking forward one day to seeing you where he is now. He cannot come back to us, but we can go to be with him,” Lynda says. “It takes less than a minute to make sure of your salvation. Simply say this prayer:
‘Dear Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. I ask you to come into my heart and life and forgive me for being the sinner that I am. Save me now. I am trusting you, and you alone, Lord Jesus to take me to Heaven when it is my time to die. Amen.’”
You can follow Lynda’s bold example by making a sacrificial gift to share the Bible with others. Thank you for praying and giving so that others can come to know Jesus.
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