The world needs more Magnolias

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mother Teresa once said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”

Magnolia Brown, known to many as Mother Magnolia, is a testament to those words.

I don’t know Miss Magnolia well.

Email newsletter signup

I’ve chatted with her from time to time when she stops by the Advocate office, and on Saturday I had the chance to attend her 95th birthday party. From my limited interactions with Miss Magnolia, I know one thing — she smiles a lot.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without a smile on her face.

Miss Magnolia’s smile is the kind of smile that brightens your day.

I think that’s because her smile is an indication of her sweet spirit.

On Saturday, Miss Magnolia said that if God let her live a little longer she would do her best to love more, and more, and more and more.

I sure hope that God grants her that mercy, because the world needs more folks like Miss Magnolia, who seek to love Him and love his people, regardless of their socioeconomic background or the color of their skin.

On Saturday, friends and family celebrated Miss Magnolia’s 95th birthday.

But as I sat in the cafeteria at Greenville High School, surrounded by those who know Miss Magnolia best, I couldn’t help but think that it was really a celebration of Miss Magnolia’s walk with the Lord.

I heard stories about how she encouraged others in their faith, how her smile and a kind word brightened someone’s day and how she has loved well.

It seemed that after each story, when all eyes turned to Miss Magnolia, she would raise her hands and say, “Praise God.”

I don’t know Miss Magnolia well.

But I do know that our community is a better place because she’s a part of it, and I sincerely hope that God is gracious to us and blesses us by granting Miss Magnolia’s prayer for more time to love others.