The Lazarus Project

Resurrecting hope for Christian victims and survivors of family violence.

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Tribute to Cira Ashton

Cira AshtonCira Ashton, our friend and former Board member, passed on to her greater reward this fall.  She was an amazing woman of faith with an awesome story.

Cira was born and raised in Cuba, and came to the United States with her husband. One day, as she was getting ready to go to church, her husband attempted to block her from leaving. She told him, “I don’t care what you do; you’re never going to get between me and Jesus,” and she proceeded to go out to her car to drive to church anyway.

But her husband attempted to cut her into pieces. He tried to cut off her fingers and hands, but left her there on the floor in a puddle of blood. It was an amazing miracle that Cira survived at all, but her abuser had severed her spinal cord, leaving her wheelchair-bound for several decades, during which she raised three children as a single, disabled woman. But her faith never wavered.

Often when I would see Cira, and I’d ask her how she was, she’d always respond, “Oh, I can’t complain.” But how many of us, in her shoes, could say the same? If ever anyone had an excuse to gripe about the challenges life brings, it would be her.

Cira was a fashionista extraordinaire. I think her collection of shoes and purses must have rivaled Imelda Marcos. She always had her nails flawlessly painted. I never saw her with one hair out of place (even when I helped her move! If ever there’s a time when you’re given a pass to look like a complete slob, it’s when you’re in the hospital or when you’re moving). One time, when she was in the hospital, and I went to pray with her, I was surprised to find her with her makeup on, looking absolutely sensational (or at least as sensational as you can when you’re dressed in one of those unbecoming hospital gowns). Cira looked like a Cuban version of Gwen Stefani, with a few years added to her.

At the memorial service, her pastor said that she had told him just months before that she knew that God was going to heal her, and that she was going to get married soon (which seemed unlikely, as she was not seeing anyone). Then he acknowledged how he’d had a hard time believing it, but that she seemed absolutely convinced. Pastor Cal said, “but Cira was absolutely right. For now, she is with her Savior, the bridegroom, and I know that they are dancing in heaven.”

Cira was a licensed minister, and intercessor, and a true lover of God. She leaves a legacy of faith and determination we would all do well to follow.

Goodbye, sweet sister in Christ. We all miss you. I’ll try to get a seat next to you at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where we will see each other again, and rejoice.

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