Crowley strove for exemplary Christian life

By Judy Brandon

Sometimes it seems that we can be touched in ways we do not anticipate.

It was any normal day in my life and I was on my way to work by my typical route. I turned on the car radio and the host introduced a taped speech by Mary Crowley, then CEO of Home Interiors. The announcer set the stage by saying her speech had been recorded in front of an audience of about 800 women. Even though she has been dead for nearly twenty years now, her words of wisdom and influence still touches many lives today.

In her time, Mary Crowley was a speaker who was much in demand. She had a very difficult childhood after losing her mother at an early age. Then her beloved grandparents, who were raising her, had to give her up to her father and his new wife. Mary could never do anything right for her stepmother and eventually ended up going back to live with her grandparents.

Her adult life and career was a huge success. Mary Crowley sat on several national boards such as the Red Cross and was involved in many of its efforts. Because of her business success, she stood with the powerful and elite in business circles. While traveling the world and giving speeches and inspirational messages to all kinds of groups, Mary Crowley wanted to be known first as a follower of Jesus Christ.

I tuned in that day just as she was telling a story about her friends Ruth and Billy Graham. During one of Billy Graham’s meetings in England many years ago his wife Ruth had accompanied him.

Mary Crowley told the story to make this point: our influence and the pattern each of us sets in life is important. It could be that we are the example that someone else is following.

Then if we are followers of Christ, that calls for personal actions and a lifestyle that is not counterfeit but one that genuinely reflects Christ. Each of us is an inspiration for the conduct and aspirations of some other human being. It may be a child, a neighbor or even a student. With the recognition of that, we must take that summons to responsibility seriously and cautiously.

Mary Crowley added that some people will let us down, even those we think are good examples. Yet, she gave her audience a charge. Study the original and He is Christ. Our aim should be to imitate the example of Christ and then we will be a reflection of Him to others.

Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: