A Lasting Impression

By Jenny Dendinger

My family recently lost someone very dear to us. Four years ago, Mr. Marvin was a stranger that happened to share a pew with us at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church every Sunday, but in the end, we were family.

Friendly smiles eventually grew into hugs and phone calls and visits to his house to check in on him and his sweet wife, Beverly. We even celebrated his 87th birthday with Chick-fil-A ice cream cones!

There is so much I could share about Mr. Marvin, but one thing that left a lasting impression was his strong desire to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

This was evident by the way he pushed his tired body to stand during the consecration and how he walked up the aisle with his walker to receive Communion. When his body became too weak and weary to walk, Communion was brought to him in the pew. Even then, he insisted on reverently standing before receiving.

Eventually, getting to Mass was the hurdle he had to overcome. He hated losing his ability to drive and that he needed a wheelchair to get to his seat.

In one of our many chats, I expressed to him that his desire for our Lord was such a beautiful witness to my family. If he was ever feeling too sick or too tired to attend Mass, then he should absolutely stay home and rest. But, if it was only his pride keeping him away, I hoped he would still consider coming. I assured him that we all struggle with pride in our own ways, but God calls us to do our best to recognize it and root it out.

The following week, Mr. Marvin rode in the wheelchair that he hated up the aisle of the church and took his place in our pew. My kids instantly welcomed him with hugs. In between embraces, he reached out and gave my hand a victorious squeeze, and the two of us shared a wink and a smile.

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