Linda Martin Tallent, 83, of Chattanooga, passed away on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.
Ask anyone about Linda Tallent and they would say something like, “She’s such a good person” or “She has such a good heart” or “She loves Jesus and she loves people.” Some of those things were true. Not all of them.
Mom knew she was truly not a good person. She knew that she was flawed, like all of mankind and that anything she did on her own was like filthy rags. (We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 64:6)
Mom knew that like all of humanity, her heart was incredibly wicked (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9. For from within the hearts of men come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness. Mark 7:21-22) and sinful by birth (Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned — Romans 5:12) and that because of her heart condition, she, and all of humanity, are separated from God. (but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. Isaiah 59:2)
Mom knew that no matter how good she tried to be, or how many good things she tried to do, it would never amount to anything. (For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. James 2:10)
Mom knew that her life was not an accident and that she was put here on this earth for a short length of time. (Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:13-14)
Mom knew that the heart she was born with caused a sickness that no earthly medicine could heal. (For the wages of sin is death… Romans 6:23)
Mom knew that she could never work her way into a relationship with God. Mom knew she could not do enough good works here on this earth to earn her salvation. (For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9)
Mom realized her heart condition, her separation from God, her sickness from sin and cried out to God and accepted the free gift of salvation, which she knew was ONLY POSSIBLE through the work of Jesus on the cross. (For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13)
Through the grace of God, Mom discovered two words that changed her life: But God.
“But God” is a powerful phrase because it says it all. “But God” is the Gospel.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
The question was asked of mom, and the question is asked of you: What are you going to do with it?
Mom answered the question by calling on the Name of the Lord and was saved. Mom’s life here on earth has concluded, but oh, what life she now has because of the two most powerful words known to man: But God. She knew that this world was not her home and we now rejoice that her faith has become sight and she is now home, in the eternal presence of Jesus Christ.
She impacted the lives of many and had a servant’s heart. She was a faithful witness to her faith in Jesus Christ and that is how she prefers to be remembered. "Just one life will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will surely last."
She is survived by her son, Andy (Mishelle) Tallent of Chattanooga, TN; six grandchildren, sisters, Joan Akin, Carole Aversa and Kay Spearman, as well as several beloved in-laws. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Ed, as well as two brothers, Gene Martin and Hugh (Buddy) Martin, and sister, Sue Payne.
The family would like to thank the devoted caregivers at Martin-Boyd Christian Home, as well as the nurses and staff at Hearth Hospice for their compassionate care given to mom over this past year.
Visitation and a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 22, at The Chapel Cleveland, 2412 Wolfe Dr., NW Cleveland, Tn. 37311, with visitation at 11 am. and the service following at noon. A visitation reception will follow the service.
To send flowers to Linda's family, please visit our floral store.