I first met Daphne at the St. John's Anglican church in Quick. Once a year, our family would attend Christmas Eve services at this quaint little church powered by candlelight and woodstove. The presence she exuded was always warm and gentle.
It wasn't until I needed her assistance that I understood the loving depth of her character.
It was the spring of 2010 when I called to make an appointment to talk with her at the St. James Anglican church in Smithers. I had a pressing matter I needed to discuss.
Our youngest daughter had been physically and verbally bullied in the public school system for 3 years. My husband and I knew we had to make some drastic changes, and we reviewed our options: homeschooling, the alternative school, or the Christian school. While the first two choices could have been fine, we did not believe they would offer our child the necessary social development she specifically needed.
In choosing the Christian school, we needed to have a minister fill out an admission requirement form before our daughter would be able to be accepted into the school.
I sat down in Daphne's office. She asked what she could do for me. I told her that I wanted the best for my daughter, but I didn't want to be a hypocrite. I told her that while I loved the teachings of Jesus, I did not share all of her Christian theological beliefs. I proceeded to share with her my beliefs. She listened and listened and listened and listened.
She then said to me, "We all come to God in different ways".
On the part of the admission form where it asks, in what way did our family contribute to the church, Daphne was enormously generous to write that I had played the pump organ at St. John's. I had only played it a handful of times during a few services.
Daphne heard our need. She was in a very unique position of being both minister and previous school teacher. She opened her church and her heart to our family in our time of need.
Before I left my meeting with her, in the most gracious, kind and wise way, she said this to me, "We don't have to share all of our beliefs with everyone".
Our daughter spent 3 wonderful years at the Bulkley Valley Christian School; was respected, nurtured and loved. She experienced the beauty of Christ's most loving teachings.
When our daughter was about to graduate, Daphne announced this, to the entire congregation at Camp Caledonia. It was one of the best church services I had ever attended; outside in the sunlight under a sheltered building, with a guitar strumming and beautiful singing harmonies entwined with the surrounding nature.
Daphne made time to attend our daughter's graduation, and as a gift, gave her a wooden cross she obtained during her pilgrimage in Spain, walking the Camino de Santiago.
We will be forever grateful to Daphne for her love and for seeing our needs.
On the back of the pamphlet of the memorial service celebrating Daphne's life, was a joyous picture of her, with the following words written below:
And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1st Corinthians 13:13
Daphne lived the theology of love.
Thank you so much Daphne.