Churches are like small towns. We spend time with people who leave an indelible imprint on our lives, people who get to know us, and we them, in familial relationships that sometimes last a lifetime. We mark each other’s milestones, the good and the bad alike, laughing and weeping together until one of us takes our leave … and the entire community feels the loss.
This past week we celebrated the life of Marguerite Picken. Marguerite was one hundred years old, and most of those years she spent with us as an active member of St. Stephen’s. It was her habit to attend our early Sunday morning service so not everyone knew Marguerite in recent years. But even as she seemed to shrink before our eyes, her genuine interest about each person she met meant that you didn’t forget her once you’d met her. And she didn’t forget you.
The brightness that shone in her eyes, born of intelligence and curiosity, showed a love of life and a daily delight in God’s fascinating world. Children figured prominently in that world and her natural family had to “draw the circle wide” many times to accommodate all those whom she regarded as family. Right up to the end, as her world closed in upon itself, her smile could light up the room at the appearance of an old friend.
We are diminished by Marguerite’s passing, but she has left her mark on all who were lucky enough to have known her. RIP.