Once there was a clever and curious girl, a daughter of the King. She was fortunate to grow up in old house in Trenton New Jersey with 2 staircases and lots of siblings.
As she grew, the girl discovered that her life was much better when she choose to believe the best about people and situations. So she became relentlessly optimistic and looked forward to each new day.
It also became clear to the girl that launching new projects and following through with ideas led to good and unexpected experiences. So when she and her siblings decided to dig a swimming hole in their back yard and ended up with a huge puddle of mud, this was a success.
The girl loved to learn and loved God so headed off to Wheaton College in order to be fully prepared for what life had to offer her. While there, she met a handsome young man who thought she was delightful. Soon they realized that days together were better than days apart and promised each other before God that from that moment forward they would share life, both the good days and the hard days.
The young couple realized that they would gather treasures in life but agreed that they would be open to whatever kind of riches came their way. One of the first to arrive was the beautiful treasure of true love. The kind of love that is endlessly supportive, that thinks of the other before self, that forgives without being asked and is delighted when the other succeeds. This was a helpful treasure in the years of apartments with shared bathrooms, Christmas’s with a single small present and Sunday dinners of scrambled eggs and toast.
Another treasure they gathered early on was hope. The couple were eager to share their love with a baby but it proved to be an unexpected challenge. As the years past there was little to hold onto except hope. But hold on they did, until 9 years later they brought home a baby girl from Children’s home in Pittsburg to be followed less than 2 years later by a son born to them both. This treasure of hope was especially precious and they turned to it again and again over the years when unexpected challenges arose.
A dynamic treasure added to their stash and developed over time was the treasure of discovery. It was born out of moves all over the country, projects like starting a preschool, initiating Bible studies and learning groups, launching childrens & teen programs, organizing conferences, building a treehouse, trips around the world that included history and culture and development along with an unlimited number of efforts that began with the words “let’s just try it.” The woman understood the power of these words and used them as much as she could. She found them quite helpful when their wonderful church denomination, the Christian & Missionary Alliance moved to Colorado Springs. While driving with a real estate agent she spotted a ridge with an unparalleled view of the mountains but was told there was nothing available. She said those special words “let’s just try it” and a year or so later she was sitting on the deck of her newly built home, right on top of that ridge enjoying that amazing view.
They ended up adding many treasures as they walked and sometime ran through life together. Another helpful treasure that became worn with their repeated use was kindness. They loved people and were enormously thankful to have encountered so many special ones over the years. They worked to always be kind, to help and support and encourage and give of themselves. This treasure made them rich with friends all over the world and they considered themselves so blessed!
Until one day an evil sickness came. It came quietly and without fanfare but when it became known, it changed everything. For 5 months, it worked to steal the life from the woman as her beloved watched and helped and cooked and loved and held her hand. The beautiful and brave woman understood that her future on earth had been stolen. But her spirit remained strong and each day she chose to smile. In the place of darkness, she chose to be light. In the face of despair, she chose joy.
Until one day, she was gone. And her beloved was stricken and the treasures they had gathered seemed invisible. His greatest loss had left him overcome with grief so real it seemed to shatter his very bones. But with tear stained eyes he reached once again into their box of treasures and pulled out a small one that glowed like the sun from the very bottom. It was the treasure of eternal life and as he held it in his hand he felt great comfort. His dear one, his partner and best friend of 57 years had been a daughter of the King, the maker of heaven and earth and like all God’s children her death was both and end an a beginning.
*shared at the Memorial Service on June 20
*written by Marian and Jim's favorite daughter, Lynn