Rev. Estelle Margarones
I must have been about 6 years old and I was out with my aunt. I wanted a package of crayons, but didn't have any money. She offered to lend me the 32 cents if I would pay her back. I did and that was my first purchase ever. Fast forward a year or two. I remember carefully choosing metal block letters and setting them in the rack backwards, inking them up with a brush, placing a bright yellow piece of cardboard on top, and using all my strength to move the giant roller forward. I made my own department store sign which probably said something like "Estelle is #1". It was fun being related to the window dresser for Butler's in Biddeford. Another time, Aunt Clara brought home some broken mannequins. My teenage cousin got the legs and proceeded to drive home with them hanging out the tailgate window!
There were decades of special times. Since we only lived 3 blocks apart, I spent a lot of time with my Yiayia (grandmother) and Aunt Clara. As an adult, I traveled with my aunt to Europe. She wore high heels to Disneyland Paris! She would wear a suit to go out, even we were just going to Marden's or McDonald's.
She never married and had no children. Last summer, she told someone that I was the daughter she never had. Aunt Clara died last week, a week short of her 97th birthday. I miss her.
Grief is funny. One moment you can be completely fine and the very next, you can't even breathe. When people are feeling fragile, kindness matters more than ever. In those tender times, an empathetic comment or a small gesture can make all the difference. On Friday, I remarked that I was going to go to Aunt Clara's to clean out the fridge and my 11 year old nephew offered to come help. His presence had a profound impact because I wasn't alone.
In the song, "Save My Life", the band Sidewalk Prophets sing, "Tell me what I need to hear. Tell me that I’m not forgotten. Show me there’s a God Who can be more than all I’ve ever wanted. ‘Cause right now I need a little hope. I need to know that I’m not alone. Maybe God is calling you tonight To tell me something That might save my life."
Though I'm sharing a deeply personal story in this Oasis, I want you to know that I'm not feeling hopeless, nor am I feeling alone. God is always with me. I also want you to know that whenever I have companioned someone through a difficult time; I've always been acutely aware that I am merely God's representative with or without clerical collar or robe.
I share these song lyrics to underscore the difference that you can make in another's life whether it's in a time of sadness and you call, send a card, or bake; or a time of worry and you text or go with someone to an appointment; or a time of insecurity and you share your skills or knowledge to help another become more confident. You make a difference.
Galatians 6:2 "Bear one another's burdens..."
Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind to one another..."
1 Thessalonians 5:11 "...Encourage one another and build up one another..."
1 Cor 6:19 "...Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God..."
How can you demonstrate God's grace to others today?
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