Yesterday , Mary Kay Meeker left this earth from an ICU bed at a hospital in Waukesha, WI (USA). Mary Kay’s hand was taken by her husband, and placed in the hand of God as she took her last breath after being taken off life support. In that moment, she saw glory and a complete healing of her recent critical medical issues, and the residual effects of polio that she had as a young child. She was released from the stranglehold of sickness into the absolute freedom and peace of God’s love. With that new health and perfection of her heavenly body, she saw Jesus for the first time, and began her exploration of eternity. She saw our Lord ! She has spoken to Jesus face to face, and seen Him as He is ! Mary Kay is now part of eternity.
While people here will miss her presence, there are so many stories about Mary Kay that are surfacing to help soothe the wound of her absence. This is a woman who never met someone she couldn’t encourage or build up in some way. Whether it be through her work in programming at Timber-lee Christian Center, or Awana groups, her church, or as a neighbor or friend, Mary Kay was all about the glass being half full, if not overflowing.
I often saw her on stage when I first met Mary Kay as a camper. She was doing skits and ventriloquism acts during week long sessions, that continued all summer long. She made those skits vehicles for how to live as a Christian. Even for elementary school kids, there was something about her that was ‘real’…and she liked kids. There have been numerous accounts of how she and her husband Greg would interact with kids in a way that let them know that being a kid was good enough. Kids crave being valued by adults.
Mary Kay was an amazing pianist. Even with her left arm being weakened by polio, she could crank out just about any song in any key at the drop of a hat. Her ear for music was amazing. I never saw her play the piano without a big smile while she simultaneously led 300+ campers in various camp songs from that stage in Cross Timber. Music was a big part of who Mary Kay was.
It is hard to imagine Timber-lee without Mary Kay. Oh, I know it will continue to be an amazing Christian camp, with so many activities and options for kids. It will still show the love of Jesus to kids of all ages. It will still be a great place for a winter retreat or group meeting. But one of its core members is gone. That will hurt, and yet those who know her know that she would want things to go on as scheduled, and for people to keep reaching past what they think they can do- to spread the love of Jesus to everyone who walks along Timber-lee’s paths.
Mary Kay was all about showing people possibilities they hadn’t even considered. She boosted the good in people, and loved those who were going through not such great times- sometimes when she didn’t even know it. Her influence didn’t require direct conversation (though she did talk with a lot of people about a lot of things, and really listened). She lived her life in such a way as to show people ways of relating to each other, and to God. Even when I hadn’t seen her for years, I’d remember something about MK and be encouraged. She was a ‘feel good’ person.
Those of us who are Christians will see her again someday, and know the awe and wonder of seeing Jesus for the first time. In the meantime, Mary Kay is probably setting up various choirs and singing groups, and seeking out those who always wanted to sing but didn’t think they could when they were alive on earth. Maybe she’s organizing the angels’ choir into soprano, alto, tenor, and bass sections , and using that new left arm to direct them in some camp songs !! She has probably already met George Beverly Shea and the Goodmans, and has them helping with the choirs !
I can see Mary Kay walking through Heaven, gathering orphaned kids and talking to each of them- praising God for each of them. She’ll have them singing or doing skits before long, to entertain the other folks up in Heaven. 🙂 If nobody stops her, she’ll have them doing something in Swedish (the Swedes up there will LOVE Mary Kay- yah, you betcha !!). I can see her being welcomed by former Timber-lee folks who have been up there for a while, and them introducing her to people they know.
Mary Kay’s work here is done, at least directly- she planted countless seeds that will continue to grow. It was God’s will that she be in Heaven with Him… she may not be working here on earth, but I’m guessing she’s keeping plenty busy. I can’t imagine her having it any other way !