every day for most of the year, when my front tires kiss the curb at my parking space at work, i see these stems adorned with a sort of lace-like flower. it is called queen ann’s lace. a name of royalty i suppose. and they have a different look in different seasons. this is how they looked last evening as i was leaving the office. the brown and gray and earthy season for the queen’s lace. somehow i like this season of its development best when it comes to appearance. a few seeds hanging there amidst the cluster of stems.

this week i am reminded of a dear friend of mine. a dear friend of many. margaret scott pauley. this week marks twenty years since the day she crossed through the veil from this life to the eternal. and i still find myself grieving and celebrating her. both at once. she cannot be described in the context of this page. but i want to say something brief here about her. at the service that celebrated her life and grieved her death, there was a short verse that was spoken that continues to stand out to me. it is taken from john and is a quote of jesus of nazareth: “i tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. but if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

there is way too much to try to write about when it comes to this short sentence. and i do not pretend to be a theologian. matter of fact, i don’t even want to be one. but i understand the metaphor here in the way that margaret lived much of her life. in one aspect, her death has not stopped a certain kind of life from continuing, because her actions, while she was alive, are still producing fruit in my life. but the most significant part of that for me is not tied to her actual death in september of 1992. it is that she lived her life with a sort of dying to self. putting others first. loving so authentically and convincingly. pointing to her maker as the source of that kind of crazy love. and after her death…two decades after her death…that kind of mysterious living and dying lifestyle continues to inspire me. to challenge me. to draw me to the Giver of Life. and i am so grateful to him for her, and how her eternal self somehow is affecting this temporal life for me and for many.

for those of you who knew margaret…share a memory here if you choose. and, more importantly, live your life in a way that dies to you and brings life to others. a way that points others to the true Source of Life.


~ by fourfeetsixinches on September 19, 2012.

11 Responses to “unless…”

  1. Even after 20 years, I can still see traces of Margaret in my life. She was a rare gem of a woman…one who loved Jesus, her family, and those around her in a way that made you think “I want what she has”. My memories of her are precious, and I treasure the times spent with Margaret, Paul, and my other dear friends every Monday night in their “barn room”. Those years shaped my life in ways that I can still see today. I miss having a mentor like Margaret in my life and I look forward to seeing her “on the other side” someday.

  2. could not agree more, Julie…. a rare gem indeed!

  3. I, too am truly thankful for Margaret’s inflluence in my life. She was and remains in my memory a most beautiful vessel of our Heavenly Father’s love and welcoming arms. I see her reflected in her daughters-a beautiful tribute to a loving and generous daughter of the King…

  4. Margaret was so special…always sharing and giving and smiling. She had a way of always making you feel like you were her favorite and it was okay that she made everyone else feel the same way. Miss her so much…

  5. I remember the moment I met Margaret – it was at the cabin at the lake. She and Paul A walked in and saw Morris and me and she just lit up like a Christmas tree – a woman I had never seen in my life absolutely over the top with joy to see me. I have always remembered that moment . How life altering if only we all greeted the world with such welcome and joy.

  6. Scott, it is so God-like that you should post this thought. I have been asking myself what made mom so special? Did I feel special just because I was her daughter? No, she genuinely cared for people. First of all, she loved Jesus above all. And always praised Him. I praise God for her legacy and the Christian foundation my parents provided. I pray that I can do the same for my family. They had such a gift of hospitality. God is good! And looking forward to hugging her again ! Thanks for your eloquent words of remembrance. Beth

  7. Thank you for this reminder of an incredible woman. All my memories of Margaret are good ones. I remember feeling so special when she and Paul “bought me” during a youth group fund raiser. So many things i could say, but you are so right that she lived her life in a way that truly impacted everyone who was privileged enough to know her… Both while she was with and even now that she is waiting to see us again.

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