Sometimes God saves you just because He loves you. Lucille Beaver’s story seems like the beginning of a great novel or the powerful story of a great minister who changed the world.
Tragedy struck Beaver’s life at a young age. Her younger brother died of pneumonia when she was very young and her mother died of tuberculosis soon after when Beaver was only five. Her father died in a car accident when she was only 11. Her grandmother, unable to care for Beaver herself, sent her to an orphanage at 13 years old, where she stayed until she was 18.
After leaving the orphanage, getting married and starting her life, she had some built-up bitterness and feelings of abandonment. At the age of 25 however, God met Beaver and saved her.
“I had an epiphany. I was just very unhappy. I had not been going to church or anything and so I don’t know why the Lord would come to me at that time, but you never know what the Lord’s doing,” she said. “I think He just took pity on an orphan, you know. So that’s when I started being religious and started changing my life around. I just cried all night long, it overwhelmed me. And the release and the relief was so wonderful.”
During her conversion, God spoke in her heart that she would be a minister, and she began going to church to learn about God. She was given a new sense of purpose in the Lord, sharing His love and spreading the gospel.
Due to her husband’s job in the oil business, Beaver had the privilege of traveling around the world. She spent time overseas in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and everywhere she went, she preached the gospel. The call on her life was definitely a strong one, but she didn’t fully understand it at the time.
“When I was in Africa, I was a little disappointed because I was thinking there was more I could do for the Lord while I was there,” she said. “So all I could do was tell people around me about God who didn’t know. I did what I could wherever I was. I kept thinking well what if God wants me to do
something bigger than this, but that’s when I finally started realizing that maybe He really didn’t expect me to be anything big. Maybe He just wanted me to see the world, experience other things, and share what I could with anybody that I could.”
Being called to be a minister, she assumed she would reach thousands of people and become well-known for her preaching. However, she soon realized that being a minister can mean many different things.
“That could mean anything. That could just mean that you are going to keep up the Lord’s work, and tell people about Him. It doesn’t mean that you gotta be anything great,” she said.
Beaver’s view of Christ and how He saves us has changed through her ministry at ORU.
“You don’t have to do everything at one time and sometimes He saves just because He wants to save you for yourself. He just wants to help you have a life and have a heart,” she said. “You think just because the Lord comes to you that you have to do all these great things, but maybe He just has compassion on you because of your circumstances and gives you a new kind of blood to carry on.”
No matter where she found herself in the world, Beaver’s life exuded Christ’s love. Beaver now works for Sodexo at ORU, and she helps the students get through the day with her warm smile and unwavering love for Jesus. She encourages students to step into their calling, no matter what it is.
“We are not all called to be great, sometimes it’s just to be a witness to people and live your life for Christ,” she said. “You just have to stick with it. You are going to have ups and downs, but you cannot ride the fence and be a Christian. You have to learn to take one side or the other. That would be my best advice, either don’t go or go all the way.”
Beaver’s first husband passed in 1999, and she remarried about ten years ago. She currently lives in Tulsa with her retired husband and views her job at ORU as a retirement job, something she does for fun. She loves the students and enjoys sharing her life with them.
“I love the kids, and I’ve never seen so many sweet kids in one place, so that’s what helps to keep me here,” Beaver said.
She may not have become the type of minister she thought she would, but Beaver has definitely changed lives with undeniable impact. The Lord gave her new eyes to see, and she spreads His light to everyone she meets.