Out of nowhere this little piece has become inspired by the late Pauline Mary. I don't think you need to have known her to find her interesting. She was a regular at our Sunday Eucharist until about 8 years ago when getting out and about became more difficult. In latter years she asked me to look after her finances, and execute her wishes with regard to her funeral and will. She spent hours with her dear friend Jill Hawes planning her funeral. Prayers, hymns and readings. BUT NO EULOGY. She was very modest, with strong views rarely expressed. She loved poetry, dance, nature, painting, children. She was a teacher of dance and PE. In her eighties her Saturday treat was to walk from Briarwood Road to Grove Court (and back) to visit a dear friend. Much, much earlier she taught in our Sunday School. Some time after that she organised St. Mary's Christian Aid Week. In between times she was involved in church cleaning, or was it dusting and polishing? In life I never spotted what an excellent role model she was. Hindsight and reflection since her death have taught me what a saint she was.
George Herbert was among her favourite poets and she chose one of his hymns as a reading at her funeral. Here are 3 verses which illustrate her philosophy, even her faith as she practiced it.
Teach me my God and King, In all things thee to see;
That what I do in anything to do it as for thee!
All may of thee partake; nothing can be so mean,
Which with this tincture, 'for thy sake', Will not grow bright and clean.
A servant with this clause makes drudgery divine;
Who sweeps a room as for thy laws, makes that and the action fine.
When we look are we looking for God, and good? One way Pauline Mary looked was through the eyes of a watercolour artist. A hidden talent, the fruits of which I found tucked away in a bottom drawer.
Whatever we do, work or play, do we do it for Our Lord? If 'for thy sake' informs our decisions and actions doesn't that transform them? Make them bright, and clean, and divine drudgery?
I have discovered that in her early retirement Pauline Mary had a number of lodgers/paying guests. She really cared for them, even mothered them. And while active she was always on the look-out for folk to love, in the widest sense.
I am sure she discovered that serving her Lord was perfect freedom. A role model indeed. For us all. Because we love our Lord a little and would like to love Him more.
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