"My life is but a weaving between the Lord and me..."

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or so begins the poem which is a powerful image for us of how the threads of life are woven, in due time, into a beautiful fabric that in the end becomes the sum of one persons life. Threads of different colours and hues, each one providing a unique depth and texture. No one knows the pattern, save God alone, it is only in the weaving that the pattern becomes obvious. At times great pains are taken to ensure that each piece is fitted into place.

There is a common thread in the fabric of our lives, one of brilliant colour that for many of us stands out from all the rest and we name that special strand as Marjorie.

We have gathered here today to worship God because Marjorie has touched each one of us in a special way. We come seeking comfort in God's work and God's way. I have had the privilege for over half of my life to be named as a part of the family, and my number in line of daughters is three. (Those of us fortunate to be included in this household take our adoption very seriously.) For the tool in Marjorie's weaving was not a loom that creates a strip of fabric, but a crochet hook used to loop together a chain of faith and friendship.

Before I dissolve, along with the rest of you, I would like to look at the manner in which some of us have been "caught in the chain" a "chain held together by a string of love & prayer". Beside Marjorie's chair, along with her pile of crochet cotton and various doily patterns, there were a number of things which were special to her, and reminders for us of the things and of the people that she cherished.

A cup of tea and a cookie or a piece of homemade bread or a butter tart: a sign of the welcome and hospitality that was extended to all who entered. A hospitality based on the pattern of Christ. "Welcome one another as Christ welcomed you." Marjorie was confidant and encourager. She always found something worthy of praise regardless of the situation (poor pie or broken teapot) and you were really doing well when you received a cheer of "well done" or "Hurray".

A stack of letters and cards, some to be read again and again and others waiting to be written. Once in a while we were even given dispensation to look in the desk to find some needed time. I have been present a number of times with Janet and Ardeth when a letter would have arrived from Auntie that Marjorie wanted to share -- well parts of it she wanted to share. We will never know the extent of the censoring that occurred between the two. But sisters are granted that privilege. When you have been writing to one another several times a month for close to 60 years their is a bond that we cannot help but cherish and respect.

On the 25th of June when Marjorie got the "word" that we all dreaded, Aileen called the hospital. They chatted and cried on the phone. I know that you shared many delightful and painful moments and that a part of you is missing, but that space will be filled with the Spirit of Christ and the memories will be treasures more precious that the finest gold, "for our lives are hidden with Christ in God."

A bouquet of flowers and beautiful trinkets: wild flowers, artificial flowers, a plant, a thing of beauty and delight. Many of which came from Ardeth whose creativity was a source of wonder and blessing. Marjories' "spark" and enthusiasm for life lives on in you # 2.

A journal: I had often seen Marjorie writing notes, and reading from a secret book. This journal was like no others! I had the privilege of reading her most recent one, it is filled with scripture passages that she has rewritten, many included the introduction: "read this every day". The pages that caused my the most joy were the ones written almost in code where names were listed and requests were to be made in prayer. (I cannot describe the feeling of joy that came when I saw my name there, to discover that with so many others I was held in the constant prayer of her life.)

A telephone: a lifeline to those she loved. To Ross to check in on how he was doing and to us all. It was an important instrument used to keep up on the news and who was in need of prayer.

A stack of books: her daily reading and prayer time could take all day. No one could or would stop it, but many took the opportunity to join. Over the years we have gathered around the living room in the home that Marjorie and Murchie created these past 53 years. We cherish memories of sharing the reading of scripture, and anything spiritual that she could get her hands on, of talking, singing, laughing, praying and of course eating. Their home has been a spiritual haven like few others. Many of those books (along with much of the crochet cotton) were gifts from Janet who shared a unique bond with her mother. It was based on friendship few of us will ever know with our mothers - for it is based not only in birth-right as # 1 but in the faith that they shared in the Saving Power of Christ.

Murchie, we share your sorrow and your pain. But we also share your relief that she no longer suffers. Most of all we share your assurance that she is clothed in the garment of righteousness held for her by God . "Well done."

So often at a funeral people feel as though it were the job of the preacher to ensure the future of the one who died. But that is far from the case here, for the spirit of God, so obvious in her life is what sustains us now. A few passages of scripture for comfort, the lines of familiar hymns and the memories, precious memories of years of happiness are woven into the fabric of our life today, for Marjories' conviction that neither heights nor depths, nor things present nor things to come will be able to separate you from the love of God in Jesus Christ Our Lord.

We Join with the Chorus of heaven in saying "well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord!"

Written and delivered by The Rev. Michelle Smith, "daughter" number 3