This “love one another” message is popping up all over Nashville, and it all started when this “firecracker” of a woman, Shirley Bachelder, who’s 95, listened to her Lord…
Bachelder, 94 (at the time), said the inspiration for the message came to her one day when she asked God, “What can I do for you?”
“He told me just what he wanted,” Bachelder told The Huffington Post over the phone. Buy five seconds of advertising on primetime television, she recounted God’s instructions. The message needed to have a black background and white letters that read, “Love one another.”
“I said, ‘That’s gonna cost a bundle,’ and the Lord came back and said, ‘If you have to mortgage your house I’d like you to do it.’ In other words, it was very important to him.”
Bachelder added the request to her bucket list — a long tally of “things to do before I die” that she’s been recording since she was nine years old.
When Bachelder’s friends caught wind of her desire to place the ad on TV, they contacted a local Nashville NBC affiliate, WSMV, and asked for help. On July 17, 2015, the “Love One Another” message ran on the station free of charge.
And now it’s on 21 billboards throughout Nashville.
Courtesy of WSMV and The Huffington Post…
“One of the most wonderful things people can do is to love one another and take into consideration that we’re all human, make mistakes and should be forgiven and loved just like God loves us,” Bachelder said.
The media coverage of the ad and an overwhelming response on Facebook made Bachelder guilty at first. “People were giving it all to me — all this love and adulation — but it wasn’t mine. It was the Lord’s,” she said.
“She’s always had a list,” Bachelder’s daughter, Aleta Matthews, told HuffPost. “She has a real bucket list and then a million other ideas. It’s made for a very fun life because other people talk about doing things and she actually does them.”
Shirley has now crossed off many of those bucket list items. Once her three children were all grown up and starting families of their own, Bachelder enrolled at El Camino College in Torrance, California and got a degree in art when she was 60 years old. (Love that!) Just last year, members of her Methodist church in Franklin, Tennessee, where she now lives, conspired to treat her to a ride in a hot air balloon.
That’s the beauty of a bucket list, Bachelder said: You don’t expect to get every wish fulfilled, “but it gives you something to look forward to.”
What remains on Bachelder’s bucket list isn’t a trip around the world, though. She’s aiming to publish a book about her late husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease and the wisdom she gleaned as she cared for him. (That’s a book I’d love to read, wouldn’t you?)
So when you come to Nashville, friends, be sure to look for Shirley! And these life-giving words from Jesus.
What words of encouragement have you received lately? Have they come from unexpected places?