Mary Did You Know?

This Christmas will be a unique one for our church family. While we celebrate the coming of the Savior at the same time we are saying goodbye (for now) to a dear sister. Fittingly to this Christmas season, her name is Mary.

Mary Stryker is finishing the race God has given her. She will soon claim her prize for being a faithful runner, the crown of life. Her faith will be sight, and her hope reality!

Recently, Mary asked my wife and I to come and see her and in essence to say goodbye.  As part of our visit I shared with her something I wrote. I took the Christmas song “Mary Did You Know?” and rewrote the words to pay honor to her. Here it is.

Mary Did You Know?

Mary did you know, that your life would someday touch so many?

Mary did you know, that your life would be used to give God such glory?

Did you know that your weakness strengthened the faith of others?

In this life you have blessed so many sisters and brothers


Mary did you know, that your life is not measured by the years

Mary did you know, that your life would be filled with so many tears

Did you know that heartache could actually heal the soul

And lead the lost to find their name on the scroll


A life too great, a spirit too strong, cannot be bound to this world

A song to sing, a praise to shout, until the world has heard


Mary did you know, that your life will so long out live you?

Mary did you know, that your life will speak a much louder truth?

Did you know that God chose you to display His grace

And then depart from us with joyous heaven gained

One of Mary’s great passions and joy was directing VBS here at Grace. This picture from 2005 with co-director Sue Underwood (right) is how I will remember her. Thank you Mary for investing yourself in so many others!

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13 thoughts on “Mary Did You Know?

  1. Pastor Hurlbut, that is so beautifully written and describes her perfectly. We remember her as always smiling and always looking to be a blessing to others. Our loss is most certainly heavens gain. I can see her singing and dancing with those gone on before her, giving praise to the King. She was Sarah’s Sunday School teacher and has always been something special to Sarah (and our family). We’ve prayed for her for many years. We love you, Mrs. Stryker!! We will see you again!!

  2. Pastor Hurlbut, what a beautiful song written for an amazing woman. Mrs. Stryker was Sarah’s Sunday School teacher when we lived in Buffalo. She was always smiling and looking for someone to whom she could be a blessing. I can just see her now, singing and dancing with those gone on to heaven before her. Really looking forward to seeing her again one day!!

  3. We love you Mary. Your strong faith and smiling face through your struggle is your legacy. It touches lives. I know it touched mine.

  4. Beautiful tribute and so deserved! Love you Mary, and so grateful for getting to know you, while sharing in the Cancer Ministry with you! Thank you, and your legacy will live on reaching many for God`s glory!

  5. “And God showed His love for us in this, that while we were still sinners; Jesus Christ died for us.”-(Romans 5:8) He is our hope, He is our Savior. He is our Redeemer. His love endures forever. He is……JESUS!

  6. Mary…..What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman! I am thinking and thanking God for bringing you into my life (my mom’s also)….You are so special! I will never forget you and love you dearly, my friend!!!

  7. Mary is such a precious lady. I was so thankful that I got to see her at the Tuesday evening Thanksgiving service and hug her yet again and tell her how much I loved her and what a special person she has always been to me.

  8. John 14 (KJV)
    1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
    2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
    3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    On December 23, 2012, Jesus finished his preparations, laid the welcome mat at the entrance to Mary’s mansion and ushered her in. Miss you, my sister. See you when I get there! :’)

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