This afternoon I attended the memorial service for Patsy Hancock, who served along side Pastor Jim Hancock for the last fifty years as a “pastor’s wife.” Patsy went to be with the LORD suddenly early this week after a battle with heart disease and other physical complications. For seventeen years she served as first lady of First Baptist Church of Canyon, and left her special mark of the hearts and lives of young and old in our congregation.
I consider myself a self appointed expert on “pastor’s wives” since I was raised by a “pastor’s wife” and I have been married to a “pastor’s wife” for over twenty-seven years. From my front role seat, I do not believe you can find a higher or more difficult assignment in the Kingdom than theirs. Loving a pastor is like loving a “fireman” on steroids. Your life is not your own. Permanent plans are tentative. The expectations are high while too often the tangible rewards are few and far between. Living in the fishbowl of the parsonage is not for the faint of heart, but the pastor’s wife makes it home for her husband and children by balancing the demands of the church with the essentials of family life together.
During the message Rev. Steven Puckett, pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church of Denton aptly described Pasty as a “live wire.” I remember Patsy sharing with me about how she used to “grade papers” and knit during Jim’s sermons! Patsy had a wonderful sense of humor, and an amazing way to keep life fun and in perspective. In fact, Patsy reminds me a great deal of my wife Robyn, and my mom Alice. It appears to me that being yourself is a key part of being a great “pastor’s wife.”
Without doubt Jim will face the future with a deep emptiness in his heart, yet his heart still beats with wonderful memories of fifty years walking with the Lord and His people together. I know Jim will be on my prayer list for the days ahead.
I thank God for Robyn, Alice, and Patsy. Every “pastor’s wife” deserves a smile, big hug, and a kind expression of thanks.