Saturday, August 1, 2015
LEGACY OF A MATRIARCH
Reflecting Sunshine, Jamestown, NC
It’s been said that some folks light up a room by simply entering and others by exiting. Mary was unquestionably one of those who lit up every room she entered and that light has been dimmed now that one of the long-time stalwarts of our church has passed on to her life triumphant. When anyone came into contact with her it was impossible not to respond to her infectious smile and demeanor. And she was very active in brightening the lives of all those she perceived to be in need along with acknowledging the lives of folks of all ages from toddlers to seniors. Her nephew characterized her as the unquestionable family matriarch who was always available for guidance and support. Her parent’s choice of a name was fortuitous. The prime question asked at her celebration of a life this week was “What do we do now that she is gone”?
The movie “Beyond Narnia” is a short account of the extraordinarily creative life of C. S. Lewis. His classic “Chronicles of Narnia” tales have earned him worldwide recognition for his Christian thinking and writing. He was set on a bachelor’s life until Joy, a divorced American woman with two boys who had read and admired all of his writings, entered his life. They eventually married and their love for one another grew until cancer took her life much too early. Lewis was ultimately able to begin his return to daily life and the lives of his two young step sons. When the youngest was finally able to approach him and ask, “Jack, what we gonna do?” Lewis simply replied, “We carry on.” And that was what they set out to do.
And that is what our church is challenged to do. Our leaders reminded us at Mary’s celebration service that we best honor the life of one of our dedicated sisters with the same optimistic faith that she instilled in everyone she met. When we have no control of these events in our lives, we need to remind ourselves that we always have one alternative---how we positively respond. We rally our emotions and rise to meet the new sun with a new resolve. God works with his people to bring good out of every life situation.
Loved ones who go before us are forever woven into the fabric of our being and forever influence who we are for the rest of our lives. Of course we never forget and we are forever changed. We rebuild and are whole again but never the same. We wouldn’t expect nor want to be the same. And we honor their lives by filling the void and “carrying on” with their positive example.