Good Afternoon. This is a celebration of Marty’s life……so as I share please participate with me. If there is an Amen on your lips let it out, a Hallelujah in your heart let it go, a tear in your eye let it fall, a laugh in your gut, laugh out loud, an applaud in your hands, clap.
We are here today in solidarity for you Monty as you begin to step through life without your loved partner. We are all here today for you Amanda, Ryan and Aubrey as you are separated from a dedicated mother. For you Scott and Hyldia at the loss of a child – it doesn’t matter how old our kids are they are still our children, and for Greg and Bea and Crystal and Joe at the loss of a sibling. We commit our hands and hearts to you as you may need us today and beyond.
When I was in college I met Scott and Hyldia - they were the leaders of our singles class at First Baptist Crowley, but I did not meet Marty and Monty until about 16 years ago here at Wedgewood. They actually met my son, Beau first when they volunteered to take care of toddlers. We would learn that Monty held my son the entire hour as Beau sat in his lap sucked his thumb because he would cry if Monty set him down – and yet they still gave Beau permission to start dating their daughter. Many years later of course.
Monty asked me to share with you about Marty and her life. Here at Wedgwood I taught a Sunday school class and Marty was always so engaged and participated and added ideas while Monty usual slept through my lessons – so it is all the more honor he would ask me to participate today.
The wonderful author C.S. Lewis helps us understand our feelings today in his book “A Grief Observed”. It is a collection of his thoughts over time after the death of his wife.
Shortly after her passing he writes, “Her absence is like the sky spread over everything.”
Marty is not present with us today and because she was such a leader, because she served us all in so many ways, because she was loving and because she was a person of action, her absence is like the sky spread over everything. It is ok to grieve.
Lewis reminds us, “bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love, it follows marriage as much as marriage follows courtship, or as autumn follows summer…bereavement is not the interruption of the dance, but the next figure.” If we are going to love – we are going to know grief.
The paradox however, while we grieve we can simultaneously celebrate. Marty’s life, what she taught us, how she changed us, and that she is still very present, and healthy and content with Jesus Christ.
Marty met so many needs in so many different ways.
Detective Marty Jones had a twenty-year career with the Fort Worth Police Department serving the citizens of this eve- growing community. Many of her fellow officers are here today – would all of you involved in law enforcement stand so we may honor you.
It takes a talented, patient, skilled leader to choose to be a peace officer. Marty like her peers here today was destined for such a crucial role to society.
Maybe you’ve heard the term “Holy calling” often ascribed to people in professional ministry, however that would be a very limited view. Each individual here today and each person involved in law enforcement was called. Providence set the path that led them to their holy calling. Marty’s vocation was a divine appointment which she filled with determination, commitment and joy that can only be met with a resounding “well done”.
Marty was patient, but you could never confuse that as a lack of strength. She was tough – she had what is so needed today – she had grit.
This grit served her in every area of her life. She weathered many of life’s storms because she had grit. This toughness got her through chemo and surgery with Breast cancer. And that same grit kept her here with us longer in her last fight. She never complained about her situation- she faced it head on. To live well we must take this lesson from her so we can better face the adversities yet to come in our lives.
She exhibited the lines in Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” that reads:
“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
She was a no-nonsense individual. She seldom beat around the bush with the people she loved. She called it like it was.
How many of you ever had Marty look at you like this:
You know right then she had something to say. I got that look usually when telling an off-color jokes to close the kids.
Marty had numerous circles of friends. Those from work, those she met through Aubrey’s school and sports.
Those of us who knew her as a friend will miss her gentle correction, her comforting guidance, her laugh. Marty treasured her friendships. She was a great mediator between others and desired to keep people united. The best guide on friendship was written by the great writer and orator roman, Cicero over 2000 years ago. He writes, “All I can do is urge on you to regard friendship as the greatest thing in the world, for there is nothing which fits in with our nature, or is exactly what we want in prosperity and adversity.”
You may be thinking about how Marty was a friend t