Life is Being….

It has taken me many years to appreciate that life is being.

In my early years, life was achievement. There were grades to be earned, trophies to be received, promotions to be accomplished, and finish lines to cross. Recently I got to experience life in its fullness and it was to die for.

She was 90 but she acted 22. She was physically limited but nature could not nail her down. People loved her but she resisted; instead she turned their eyes on others and themselves. She was tired but never too weary for her neighbor. She had strong opinions softened by a gentle smile. She was a welcome sight and a sight to behold. I will miss her except for the fact, I can never forget her. She helped me see in the darkest of time, life is being.

Marvel Kent died recently but will not be forgotten. Her memory is etched on the hearts of many people. Her children loved her and the grandchildren simply adored her. The people she helped at the Co-Op or the folks who held out their hands for a hot delivered meal can’t forget the accompanying warm greeting. When you ran into Marvel, you bumped into grace.

I visited her one time at her simple abode. There was a television and bookcase and a chair and a couch. What more could one need? There was a bed and a night stand. There were dishes and utensils. With that the apartment was complete. It was simple yet sufficient.

Marvel Kent (right) with Linda Freund, Co-Op Director
Marvel Kent (right) with Linda Freund, Co-Op Director

Marvel didn’t need a degree to do what she did. She had a purpose driven life before the book was published. She wasn’t striving for accolades. Marvel had a clear understanding of what her life was for. Marvel did unto others as she would wish they would do unto her. One only needs a heart and hand to give life to another. Sometimes the hand is used to do work and sometimes the heart is used to guide the hand. Sometimes the hand and heart together are used to pray. Nothing was more moving than seeing her clasped hands and curved back bowing in prayer during worship. She and her creator were one.

The last time that we were together was at her hospital bedside. Slumped over from the mild stroke, she asked how everyone was at church. We talked about her great escape to rehab that would lead back to working at the Co-Op. When all that needed to be said was said, she took my hand and ask for a prayer.

I thanked God for this precious gift. I thanked God for forgiveness and the joy to serve. I thanked God for her example of serving. I thanked God for the communion of saints and the promise of life everlasting. I prayed for healing and acceptance. I thanked God for family and friends and caring doctors and nurses. I slipped into thankfulness the more I prayed and realized this is life. Life is giving thanks. Life is being…being in the hands of a loving God, the promise of eternal love and the joy sharing this time with others.

Marvel died the next day. She donated her body to science. She came into this world with nothing and left with nothing. But what she left with me was more than she will ever know. She etched upon my heart that life is simply living in the grace of God.

~Humbly In His Service
Pastor Bob