Wednesday, 2 January 2008


I have been meaning for the past three months to post something in tribute to my wife & fellow-pilgrim of the past sixty years, my dearest Margaret, who arrived home with her Lord on August 29. 2007, but my emotions were such that I found it too upsetting when I tried. Instead I have decided to quote just a few of the tributes I received which truly reflect the character of this very special lady.

“If our memories of Margaret are anything to go by, then your heart must be full of thankfulness as you look back on your life together. She was such a wonderful character who shone with the love of Jesus. She was so original in everything… the way she thought, gave her opinions, welcomed folks, cared for and gave herself to everyone. I could go on and on. Every memory is of a warm, wonderful, caring, wise woman so full of life and loving. I think of just how much both of our girls enjoyed her when we visited. She made them feel so much at home, so welcome and special. Your home was a fun place.” (From friends in Ireland)

“It has been a privilege to have Margaret as a friend and to have had her amazing example to me as a young mother. She was definitely a Proverbs 31 woman, and an inspiration to all who knew her; capable, strong (in the right sense!”, motherly, busy, making all kinds of crafts, writing, baking, gardening, and, mixed with this incredible practical ability was her genuine humility and her amazing sense of humour.

Margaret had many ways of making us feel welcome, even with five children! Everyone was important. Our grown-up children carry very fond memories of Margaret playing games with them. Although she was so much fun, she also had a wisdom and faith she lived by through disappointment and misunderstanding. Through all she was a true example of a life shaped by Jesus Christ,” (From younger friends in NZ)

“We are grateful for the times when we've had the privelege of being in the Gray home. To me, Margaret was a beautiful blue-eyed song bird. We knew she heard the Lord in how to care for everyone who enjoyed her hospitality, making each one feel really 'at home.' Every aspect of her loving attention was marked by peace and calmness, and seasoned with joyful laughter. One sensed that she really enjoyed people.
It has been said that we can worship God by the way we make a bed or do other household tasks. This was exemplified in Margaret's life.
Margaret truly was "A wife of noble character . . . worth more than rubies . . . bringing good .. . . all the days of her life . . . with arms strong for her tasks . . .. clothed with strength and dignity . . whose husband praises her and whose children call her blessed."

I am personally very grateful to the Lord for being given the opportunity to know and love this dear sister in the Lord.” (From Christchurch, NZ)

“We were in Scotland. I was ten. We were on a camping holiday with our parents on their return from Congo. The object was to hold the bucket steady enough to pour the water taken from the stream into the narrow kettle spout. She couldn’t do it. No one can hold a heavy bucket of water steady when laughing uncontrollably, least of all my mother, who was afflicted with a capacity to laugh at herself. There camping in the heather covered hills I saw how joy flowed out of her with little urging and the seed of what I would learn later was a capacity not to take herself too seriously.

As a matter of fact she didn’t think about herself very much at all. Mum was too busy serving Dad and her children to consider her own needs. Everyone else came first, a sick neighbour, a stranded stranger or a lonely friend. She never missed an opportunity to continue serving and blessing others. Even after she became ill, while she did not deny her struggles, our phone conversations invariably turned to her concern for each member of our family.

My mother shaped my life as well as the lives of many others. She remains today my inspiration to be a good wife and nurture my children, to serve others, to joyfully accept lowly tasks, to walk with God, and to sing while I work” ( Our daughter in North Carolina)

We have the fondest memories of Margaret’s generous and indomitable spirit. Had it been possible she would have gone out singing! I specially remember her loving support when I was a very confused “old” mother nearly forty years ago and she would come evening after evening with her knitting and sit with me. Of such are the true people of God.” ( From friends in New Zealand)

What a privilege to have had such a wife and companion!