A Tribute to the Silent Servants
Everyone leaves a mark on our life. Sometimes it is the quiet people who touch our life the deepest. I believe Marian to be one of the quiet people. I didn’t know her well, but I was told she was at one time a Stephen Minister, wrote devotions for the Upper Room, and a School Teacher just to mention a few. But what I do know about Marian is she did needlework and knitted Prayer Shawl as gifts until her recent death at 94 years. The shawls are a gift to the church and not to be sold.
Marian begin her ministry of knitting prayer shawls in 1981 and she knitted over 200 in a variety of colors. Each color has a special meaning for example green means growth.
Here at Bartlesville First Church we have a group of ladies who meet weekly (Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in the conference room) to pray over prayer requests received from the congregation as well as for requests from people outside the Church. The prayer group has been meeting for over 38 years. During those 38 years the members of the prayer group have changed, although, there are two remaining charter members Margaret Williford and Marilyn Smith. The prayer group continues being a vital weekly part of the church.
Somehow, the Prayer Ladies and the Prayer Shawls became a Knit one, Purl two connecting stitch. As Marian completed a shawl, it was folded, placed in a colorful gift sack and given to the prayer ladies to be delivered as they saw fit along with a note which read
“This shawl was made with Prayers for you. It is hoped the shawl will ease the chill when you are resting and that you will feel the warmth and strength of God’s love wrapped around you.”
The prayer ladies became the custodians of the shawls and they were delivered to people who were hospitalized, people who were ill or grieving, people who were lonely. People who came to the prayer group asking for personal prayers were often-times given a shawl. Each shawl was knitted with loving thought and given in the spirit of unconditional kindness. I feel it an honor to have a prayer shawl knitted by Marian Crane. I use mine each night as it brings me warmth and comfort I cannot explain.
Even now on any given Wednesday, if you happen to be at the Church at 9 a.m. and if you happen to peek into the window of the conference room you will see a prayer shawl draped around the shoulder of each lady.
There is a limited supply of prayer shawls on hand. I hope one of them will be for you not because you are ill, but, like me, as a special gift of love.
Marian has left a quiet mark on my life and I’m certain on the life of many others and, perhaps, on your life as well.
– Gretta Parks