Tuesday, June 25, 2013


This is one of the earlier devotional blogs I penned, more than seven years ago. I still sit on the same row in our congregation behind the family who is spoken of below. The object of the blog, Wren, has grown considerably and is now joined by brothers Asa and Maverick. This is about Wren and his folks, Mike and Marna, from March 6, 2006.

Yesterday morning, I sat behind Mike and Marna Marsh in worship. Society is crumbling under the staggering weight of failed marriages. The Lord must have Mike and Marna in mind when he designed the concept of the home. Maybe they have imperfections but they are about as flawless a couple as I know. You might have heard of Mike. A world class sprinter, he won 1992 Olympic Gold at Barcelona in the 200 meters as well as the 4 x 100 meter relay. After retiring from competitive running, Mike did graduate studies at Duke University and is employed in the oil industry in Houston. Marna works from her home as a recruiter for Duke. The nicest compliment I have paid anyone in a long time came last spring. In front of her coach, I pulled one of our basketball players aside. I told her one of the best things I could say about a girl was that she reminded me of Marna Marsh...and this young lady does. Mike and Marna: Westbury church of Christ's version of Ken and Barbie. I could ramble but that would defeat the purpose. You see, the story isn't really about Mike and Marna. No, they are just the opening act.

I saw them last night at evening worship service: Goldfish. You know, the fish shaped cheddar cheese flavored crackers put out by Pepperidge Farms. There were three or four of them on the pew extension where we keep attendance cards next to the songbook racks. The Goldfish were reminders of the AM service; they did not get there by accident. I left someone out of the Marsh family tree- Wren. An eighteen month old high octane bundle of nuclear fusion, Wren Marsh is the pride and joy of Mike and Marna and the adopted son of everybody in our church. During morning worship, Wren was intent on sharing his Goldfish with all on his pew and the one behind him. He carried them in a little Tupperware bowl packed by his momma. I was the first recipient. Wren next turned his attention to Russell and Shara Carr to my left. They gratefully accepted but left them on the pew where I found them at night. Russell and Shara are two of my favorites- I preached their wedding- but you can't waste good Goldfish! Wren to me is a reminder that God still brings love and life into the world. Children have the God-given ability to change adults in their orbit and Wren is a perfect example. His smile and wide open eyes show what Jesus intended when he told his disciples to "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." His innocence and trust in his earthly parents put my faith in our heavenly Father to shame. One more thing: God blessed Mike and Marna with Wren but God blessed Wren with the two he will call Mom and Dad when he can fully and intelligibly form those words. In a world of neglect and parenting in absentia, Wren was born into a one-in-a-million home. It will be an honor watching him grow into adolescence. He may give Mike and Marna anxious moments like boys do. His dad was one of the fastest men anywhere but it looks like Wren has some world class wheels himself. No doubt, he will give his very proud parents a run for their money. I have a front row pew!

Applicable quote of the day:
"I love these little people, and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us." 

Charles Dickens

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

Thankful Paul said...

Hello :)