Steadfastness Makes a Difference

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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Nursery attendant Peggy Davis has been on the job for 39 years. On a high-traffic Sunday, one or two parents come to the nursery to drop off their babies. But Peggy Davis shows up every Sunday morning, ready to love the children who come. “If you ever let me go,” Peggy says to her supervisor, laughing, “I would still come to church because it is ingrained in me.”

I’ve watched this grandmotherly woman do her work. I’ve heard her talk about showing up because it means so much to her. I’ve seen pictures of her nursery when it was full of children. Some of the older ones come back now and then to see Peggy, their voices shouting, “Where’s Piggy? Where’s Piggy?”

Times now are different. In spite of what I hear and see, I wonder what motivates Peggy Davis to show up week after week, mostly to sit alone in an empty room. “Back then I was bringing kids here,” she says. “I never had a sick day because those kids counted on me to bring them to church.”

She continues to come now because she remembers what happened when she simply showed up, week after week. One of the kids Peggy brought to church was Cheryl Fox, a friend of her oldest daughter. During her junior high years, Cheryl frequently showed up at Peggy’s house on Friday nights and stayed through Sunday just to attend church. Even after Peggy’s daughter stopped going, Cheryl Fox wanted to go to church. So did Peggy.

“She’s a beautiful young woman now,” Peggy told me. “She ended up going to Whitworth [college]. I met Cheryl’s mother for the first time at the wedding. I think about that, and I think about her often.” Peggy says little more; but I consider for a moment Cheryl’s life without Peggy—without Peggy’s faithfully bringing Cheryl to church and then heading down the hallway to the nursery.

A month ago, Peggy and I started praying for new babies to show up. We just received word that Nick Stuart, whom Peggy took care of in our church nursery, is about to become a father. He recently returned home from duty in Iraq and has been distant from the church. But the Stuarts live nearby now; he and his wife are making noises that they might return to his church home.

On hearing that, Peggy comes alive. “Do you realize my granddaughter was born 16 years ago in that house?” she says. “What if the next baby born in that house comes here?”