My Sweet Sharon

SHARON KATHRYN LOUISE MORRIS (November 28, 1939 – February 2, 2022)


My Sweet Sharon, well, she wasn’t really mine, just loaned to me for 60+ years. She actually belonged to Jesus.

Over the years I realized how precious a loan it was, and that I was responsible to treasure her and take care of her in the manner that the One she belonged to had entrusted me to do.

I was always attracted to her physical beauty, and was drawn as well to the warmth of her personality. At first I tried to possess her just for myself in insecure and controlling ways. I was threatened by her closeness to her family, and especially her relationship with Jesus. I wanted to cut her off from those relationships so that she would love me only. The result was that I was  shutting down the deeper, inner part of her, even more beautiful than her physical attractiveness. Her family attachments and her relationship with Jesus (that started at age five) were what produced her inner beauty.

My selfishness and insecurity toward Sharon were a reflection that deep down inside of me I was dead spiritually. She tried to point me to Christ but I resisted in anger and continued to suffocate the deeper part of her. As I did, we drifted further apart, and increasingly, the emptiness of my soul gnawed away inside me.

After three years of relational decline with Sharon, God broke into my calloused heart through a dream, and two months later, I received Jesus. The spiritual presence of Jesus that made Sharon so attractive was now in me. The Bible calls this being ‘born again.’ I began to grow and change, and as I did, the wounds I had inflicted upon Sharon began to heal. So too, did our marriage.

It took some years for the kernel of new life in Christ in our marriage to burst into the flower that by God’s grace it became. The saying “Jesus did not come to make bad people good but dead people alive” was now true not only of Sharon, but of me…and of us.


Over the next 50+ years we had six children and they had seventeen more. Sharon’s primary focus was on nurturing and guiding them. But Sharon’s impact radiated out more, as in addition to our own children, we had numerous others stay with us for short and long periods, from a few days to several years.

Sharon’s faith was instrumental in our moving to Chicago and Los Angeles for student ministry, Switzerland and Canada to study and grow in our knowledge of the Bible, and to France (four years) and Holland (five years) to launch international churches that continue to flourish today.

Wherever we were, Sharon opened our home and provided hospitality for meals, Bible studies, small group gatherings, even church meetings before the small churches we started in Europe grew large. She was part of one-on-one discipleship meetings, community group gatherings, and all kinds of events we organized to reach out to people that they might know Christ and grow as followers of Him.

Sharon created beauty and welcome wherever she went. Her smile was genuine, disarming, and contagious, a window into the beauty of who she was within. While she encouraged and partnered with me in ministry across continents over years, her love for me, her three siblings and our family members was always foremost.


In the past several years of her life sweet Sharon struggled health-wise…but her faith in Jesus never wavered. She looked forward to being with Jesus in heaven. She wanted to go (I wasn’t ready for her to). She suffered from an autoimmune condition over her past fifteen years, then suffered two brain bleeds and pneumonia twice in the last four years. She fell twice, cut her head both times, broke her femur the first time, and three vertebrae the second. As she recovered and went forward each time, her smile never left. Hospital staff always remarked about it.

A few days before we brought her home.

The last few years and especially the last few weeks, we knew she was in decline. As I tucked her into bed each night, she would light up my heart with a smile and say “Thank you.” I was doing my best but felt so unworthy. The smile and thank you surpassed anything I could do to help her or felt I deserved.

Just two weeks ago, something changed and the little bit of mobility she had froze. She spent a week in the hospital and another in a skilled nursing facility but continued to decline. Saturday last, with all six of our children joining me in her nursing room, we realized she was nearing the end. We communicated to the doctor that we wanted her to come home. She so wanted to come home and be with her family. The doctor ordered hospice and later that night she was transported back home where she was surrounded by her six children, three grandsons, her daughter-in-law, and me.

The next day another ten of our grandchildren, some with spouses, arrived and told her how much they loved her and how much she had impacted them. Alternatively, we prayed over her, sang (including, “In my Father’s House there are many mansions…”), told stories, laughed, cried, and sat in silence. Her slight responses let each one know she loved them and that she knew she was loved.

A caregiver, two nurses and a doctor attended and interacted with us as she grew dim…and then she was gone. My last moment with her, just the two of us, was at 3 am. I was able to whisper to her once more, as I did each evening, “You’re home; I’m here; I love you; I am so thankful for you; you are safe; He’s coming for you.” Somewhere between 3 and 4:30 am with her children sleeping on the floor around her, she slipped away. It was our youngest daughter Kathryn’s birthday.

Safe forever

That’s not the end of Sharon’s story. Jesus came that we might have life to the full…and so Sharon did, we did together. But Jesus also came that we might have eternal life…and Sharon does. Scripture tells us that Jesus died and rose again and that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. Scripture tells us that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Scripture assures us that in the twinkling of an eye these perishable bodies will be raised from the dead imperishable.

The night following Sharon’s departure I was praying and pondering, “Lord, what took her? Was it the autoimmune condition? Was it the brain bleeds, the pneumonia, the falls? Was it an accumulation of all of these? Lord, what took her?” Then I was startled by a distinct voice I have heard from time to time along the way; I heard the voice of God himself say, “I did!”

I was filled with joy that it was God who took Sharon home, her eternal home, the one Jesus promised, and that Sharon will be with Him forever. I am filled with joy that Sharon is in what the Bible calls Heaven, that the Bible also calls “the Third Heaven” and “Paradise,” and as an Alan Jackson lyric says, “by the stars and moon, and past where no one sees…and she walks with Jesus…and her loved ones waiting”.

Because Sweet Sharon pointed me to Jesus, I will be there too. When I am, I will recognize her by her smile. Between then and now, I will seek to honor her, and I will continue to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us when He drew us to Himself, healed our marriage, and called us into His mission many years ago.

Grieving with gratitude, tears, hope, and joy,

Linus, our 6 children, our 17 grandchildren, and our 10 great grandchildren

28 thoughts on “My Sweet Sharon

  1. What a precious tribute to Sharon and her faith! Blessings to you, Linus, and your family! Our God of comfort will surround you all with His love and grace and give you joy even in this time of grieving.
    Much love,
    Tricia and family

  2. Dear Linus,

    Laila and I read your “goodbye” to Sweet Sharon and we are in sorrow and joy with you friend. Sharon ministered to us and as couples we shared hope and faith. The Lord graced us by knowing Sharon.

    We are standing by for you. We love you.

  3. what a wonderful tribute and I wish you God’s closeness in this period of mixed joy and missing. Big E-hug over the ocean. May God help you to keep running the race for Him till He calls you home too. love Wil

  4. Dearest Linus and tribe, I love you all and am really praying for y’all! I am one of the thousands that was warmed by that beautiful smile. I had a few privileges of learning her ways and being wowed by her heart to be in heaven. I treasure a cloth she knitted and used it every day in a basket in my kitchen. I feel emptier thinking of her here in SC but I fill right back up knowing whose Sharon, is and thinking about what she’s doing and how enthralled she is now. She’s the best of the best, Y’all are too, I love you, Joan

    Joan W. Dorman 4403 Boxwood St. Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 843-902-6728

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. I am so sorry Linus. I know we don’t talk much, but I’ve had a real connection with you, your vision and mostly your heart over the years. I watch from a distance and I can’t fathom the depth of the loss of your wife. Praying for you today!

  6. What a wonderful tribute to Sharon and your family of support. May God
    bless you as you continue to journey with Him and may the joyful memories of your rich and fruitful life with Sharon bless you and your children, grands and great grands and extended family and friends.

  7. Dear Linus and all the Morrisses!
    We are so sorry for your loss! We remember Sharon with fondness and gratefulness and will never forget how you all welcomed us into your home. You did so on more than one occasion, but one time that stands out to me especially was Christmas 1992 (?). I was at odds with my parents again (not an unusual situation) and you guys discovered Sophie and I had no one to celebrate Christmas with. I think it was Leslie who brought that to Sharon’s attention, and Sharon immediately said ‘oh, have them come over to out house; they can celebrate Christmas with us!’ I’ll never forget my first introduction to a proper American Christmas meal, sitting with a large and warm (and loud) company in that small living room on Graan voor Visch!
    May loving and precious memories fill your heart with gratitude, even as you grieve.

  8. I love this story and that I heard Sharon tell so much of it herself through the years. She is/was a great woman. So excellent in every way, so gentle, warm, wise, and exemplary in her love and care for her family. She shined like a star. Heaven is an even better place with her in it and I look forward to meeting her there someday. God was kind to give her to us all for many decades and kind to reassure you that this was His time to bring her home. I know you all will miss her deeply but what a gift you were given!! All our love and comfort to the whole beautiful family.

  9. Dear Linus and family,
    What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful bride, mom, grandmother, and great grandmother. How much God has blessed your family with her presence in your lives. I only knew her from the time I visited your home in Thousand Oaks when I worked for EF, a Homestay program for foreign exchange students. Sharon was so gracious and welcoming to me even though you weren’t able to host a student. Your lives together impacted so many people around the world. Thank you for sharing your story of your lives together. “To God be the glory for the things He has done”. You are in my prayers during this time of missing her.

  10. Linus, Thanks for sharing the thoughts of Sharon’s life. She was a bright light for all who met her. She and your beautiful family are in our thoughts and prayers!!!!!! luv, Bob and Adie

  11. What a beautiful dedication to sweet Sharon. And I feel blessed to have known her. We have been praying for you and the family, and know that God will give you His peace as you think of her, and look forward to seeing her some day in God’s presence.
    Our love,
    Oscar and Juanita

  12. That is so absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing such deep heartfelt memories and stories of a courageous, exceptional, exquisite woman. The love she touched the world with makes this planet a better place. I send love to all of you who hold her dearly in your hearts forever.


  13. Dear Linus, what a beautiful tribute to your “Sweet Sharon.” I brought tears to my eyes as I remembered Hal’s passing with family around him. I rejoice that he and Sharon are in the presence of Jesus. May the Lord give us the strength to carry on until it’s our turn to go home. Much love, Lana

  14. Linus, I’m so sorry for your loss, but so glad we could reconnect through this testimony of God’s kindness in your family’s life. May you be held in these memories.

  15. I I Corinthians 5:8 “We are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.”
    PTL The above passage after an exemplary life has been fulfilled in Sharon’s faithfulness to the end of earthly breath. It is all of us “Born Again” saints hope and desire as we to stand in line desiring to follow Sharon to someday have eternal fellowship with her and never have to say, “goodby” but “hello” forever and ever like children rejoicing together in the presence of Jesus. Can’t wait!!!

    Linus the saga of your story together is a testimony of love that will never leave Marilyn’s and my mind. What somehow struck me most is seeing all your beautiful faces gathered as a family a legacy of you and Sharon’s life. This is a tremendous blessing. May our Lord Jesus continue to grant you all peace during this bereavement. ❤️You, Little Bear and Marilyn

  16. Linus I just learned of Sharon’s “graduation” and had the awesome privilege of reading your tribute to her. Couldn’t make it through in just one reading – thank you for writing and posting it. My sympathies and condolences go out to you and your family, of course, but also my deepest profound thanks to you both for your ministry and service to Christ. Reading your newsletter over the years has been a true blessing of how God has used you profoundly as modern day Apostles. In the Psalms it is written: “Weeping may endure for the night, but Joy comes in the morning”. That is my prayer for you and your family at this time. Blessings Bruce Mitchell

  17. I am so heartbroken for you and with you, Linus. What a beautiful story and tribute you’ve written for your precious bride. Your Sharon–and I feel free to call her YOUR Sharon, because although she is God’s Sharon, you and she were truly one as God designed marriage to be–your Sharon is truly one of the most sweet, kind, gentle and generous people I have ever known. The light of Jesus always shined so brightly through her. We will all miss her, but we will also look forward to the day when we are all reunited in the presences of Jesus. What a joyful celebration that will be.

  18. Linus and family, so very sorry for your loss, but deeply grateful for the hope that is only found in Christ.
    praying for all of you.

  19. Sharon was a mom to me for several years when I lived with you. She made me feel loved like one of her own kids in such a unique way by doing mom things like showing me how to do laundry, teaching me how to drive in the green Escort station wagon, taking me along to everything and introducing me to people as her Dutch son Bas. I felt special just like many other people did when they were in her presence. She had such a GIANT heart for not being such a huge person. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, which of course are the “fruits of the Spirit” were on full display in Sharon all the time. She modeled her life after the Lord Jesus and radiated His light to those around (Matt 5:16). I am so sorry for your tremendous loss Linus & family, but also so grateful that I got to witness mom Sharon up close and personal. I’m excited for her that she is with Jesus, Who she loved more than anybody else. Praying for comfort and peace for you all!

  20. Dear Linus, From Haarlem, the Netherlands, I pray for comfort and strength in this time of mourning. I am sorry to read about this enormous loss. We are sooo grateful for everything both of you have sowed here in Holland. My first wife AnneMarie went to be with Jesus some 30 years ago but still I can identify a bit with your present feelings. May our dear Lord Jesus bless you & your family with His Presence. With love, Frank & Josefine

  21. Linus, que le Seigneur te fortifie et t’enveloppe dans ses bras de compassion! Je pleure avec toi. (en Français pour un petit rappel de tes jours en France avec Sharon.)

  22. Linus and family,
    A beautiful tribute to an amazing wife, mother, grandmother and friend. I will never forget as a kid watching you two and your family at Calvary; joyful, loving, encouraging, wise and fun. I also got to be in your home as a babysitter as I got a bit older. Everyone was family around you! Thank you for making a difference in my life, and in the World. God bless you as you navigate this huge loss, but rejoice that Sharon is with our Savior and we will all be together again! Thank you for sharing your heart, Linus. Kiki Hendren

  23. Linus and family, I am so sorry for your loss and sorry to hear of Sharon and the disease she endured for so many years. My interaction with both of you was brief when I was the missions director at Fellowship. However, I followed your ministry and could see how God used both of you. Your story with Sharon is precious and beautiful. When Jesus calls you home, it will be an incredible reunion. For now, I pray that the love and grace of Jesus will comfort you and continue his good work within you as you continue to point people to Jesus.

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