After I entered the ministry, Marie moved for a while into interim pastor ministry; in fact, she served as an interim here at FCC in Morehead. I think knowing her, and having her as a reference, helped me get the job here as pastor almost 9 years ago.
When we experience a loss in our lives - especially a loss of someone who has served us well as a mentor or an older and wiser counsel - it's important to pause and reflect on our journeys and to be grateful for their part in our life. It is just as important to take an unflinching look at how WE are helping in the lives of others by paying it forward. Scripture teaches us that our gifts are to be used to help others.
Chances are, the most important mentors in your life were not sought out, but were found - I like to think some of that is Sneaky ol' Jesus, but there are certainly other ways for that to happen. Don't wait until someone asks you to help them; just look around. You will see someone who would be a good person to pull into a committee or a job; you will see someone in their first full time position who could benefit from hearing what helped you along the way. You are sitting next to someone in church who is dealing with a fidgety 3 year old; remember when YOURS was 3? Or how nice it was when you were 3 yourself, and someone brought crayons and a book to colour with you in Big Church?
Surely witnesses are those who speak the love they have found in the heart of God, but they are also those who show the love they have found by passing it on. Be a part of the cloud of witnesses. Marie was certainly one to many of us........