As the head deacon at our church, I get to meet and come to know a little bit more of the people who pass through our doors than I might otherwise if I had a different role, or no role at all, in our place of worship.
There are some people that you get to meet that you just know you’re likely never to forget. Our church is holding a memorial service for such a person tonight.
Her name was Marj. She passed away recently, just two weeks short of her 95th birthday. She was quite frail physically, but she rarely missed church and you could just tell she was solid as a rock in her beliefs. A daughter was always by her side, helping her into the building and through the doors into the sanctuary where they would always sit in the middle rows of the left side pews.
Marj always had a smile on her face from everything I could see of her. She was such a familiar face in the church. She was much more than faithful. Look up the word “steadfast” in the dictionary, and every word describes Marj: steady – firm – stable – constant – staunch – immovable. They all fit her and her example perfectly.
When members of our church board were told of Marj’s passing, we were told that she was speaking of her love for her Lord and Savior right up to the last hours of her life. That was certainly no surprise to anyone who knew her. And I think it would be safe to say that she had a smile on her face as she spoke in those final hours. Her faith seemed to bring her so much joy.
I will greatly miss that smile as I stand in the doorway looking out toward the handicapped parking spots at our church, and I’ll wish that I could see it again as I long to see the white sedan that would bring her to our worship time every Saturday morning, watching her being led to the northeast doors, greeting her, with Marj wearing that smile that was like warm sunshine, even on a cloudy day.
We need that kind of warmth, as much as we can get. It was a true blessing to see hers shine through.
I’m sure there had to be times in her life when Marj went through some kind of pain and struggle, along with times of great peace and happiness. How did she always seem to be so joyful through her life? I think I know what one of her secrets had to be. She knew when to cry out.
May God be with you as you rest in wonderful peace, Marj. Thank you for blessing us with your presence all these years.