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I learned through a post on Facebook that a revered saint from early on in my walk of faith has gone home.

Mary Brungarth isn’t being eulogized here. Not by me. In this post, I am celebrating what I got to witness over a 10 year period when our lives and faith intersected with Mary and her husband, Dick in Grove City, Oh.

By the time we met Mary and Dick, they were probably 50 years old. We were kids, just married, just saved, and immediately welcomed by good people named Brungarth, McKnight, Knicely, Sexton, Laws, Rhodes, Cole, Garner, and so many more who helped guide, teach, and inspire us in our faith.

But this is about what I remember about Mary.

  • Always a smile. Not the manufactured, fake it till it’s real type smile. A real honest, welcoming smile.
  • She seemed to float across the floor. She didn’t walk, she floated, I SWEAR!!!  And whenever she was in your sphere or you were in hers, you knew it…you could sense the warmth.
  • Always encouraging. Often using scripture but gifted in “just” listening.
  • Always prayerful. ALWAYS eager to pray for and ask for prayer. Notice that…Mary, a mature, nurturing, loving Christian woman was equally prone to ASK FOR PRAYER as she was to ASK HOW SHE COULD PRAY…that is wisdom. That is being a SISTER in Christ.
  • She was the mother of several incredibly kind, grounded, smart, faithful adult children. None of them perfect, none of them pretending to be but each of them reflecting the kind of mother and father they were trained by.
    I always admired that so much.
  • A great sense of humor!

What I will ultimately remember about Mary Brungarth is watching her lose herself in worship.

What do I mean by “lose herself in worship?”

Let me start by saying what I don’t mean. I don’t mean that she made a scene or that when you looked at the congregation you would NOTICE her because of a bunch of calisthenics. When Mary would lose herself in worship, you could tell that everyone else disappeared. Sure, she was singing the same song as everyone else but with her eyes closed and hands lifted she would be totally focused on adoring, thanking, WORSHIPING Jesus.

Mary, thank you for your example. While I don’t believe I will ever duplicate what you did, I will not let the lessons I received watching you and Dick go to waste.