“Who was that girl who prayed so beautifully?

So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

John 16:22
– 1949

I think the hardest thing about this week is the grief my mother is going through. It’s not that she can’t accept that 94 years meets and exceeds any definition or expectation of a good, long life – it’s that they have been essentially inseparable since she was 17. That’s 74 years. The hole in her life is beyond huge.

I’m not sure if I have ever told you how they met.

Dad had been overseas, two years of military service that took him to Northern Ireland, Egypt, Palestine, and Greece. While he was gone a new girl moved to town (Rayleigh) from London.

The Maul and Kemp families attended different churches, but one day in 1948 both David and Grace showed up at a young people’s prayer meeting. David sat close to the front; Grace was near the back. They didn’t meet, they didn’t even see one another, but dad heard her voice when she prayed…

I know. You don’t have to tell me how improbable this sounds. But after the meeting David Maul asked the leader, “Who was that girl who I heard praying so beautifully?”

I know. You don’t have to tell me how improbable this sounds. But after the meeting David Maul asked the leader, “Who was that girl who I heard praying so beautifully?”

So David did a little research and he found out where the bus stopped at the end of her street. She worked in London, rode the train home, then took a bus to the end of “The Chase.”

A couple of days later a young man took his dog – Gyp – for a walk and just happened to be passing the end of The Chase when a certain bus pulled in.

“Why hello!” David said. “You must be Grace Kemp. Aren’t you the girl whose voice I heard at the prayer meeting?”

That was 1948. Since that day, Grace and David have been together. They married in 1952. Today is November19, 2022. My mother’s anguish is 74 years deep. She may have a pacemaker that keeps her heart beating; but dad was the current that fueled her soul.

– 2022

Fortunately, my mum’s deep and abiding love for God is as real and as present as both body and soul. But there is no getting around the pain, and my constant prayer is that she will know and feel God’s peace, the one that is beyond the limits of human understanding.

Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27


  1. Beautiful story. How I wish more couples would have that experience with each other and God. Oh, I know some that do. Maybe there will be a Rebekah meets Derek blog in the near future? 😀
    Keep the positive; think on THESE things.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this story of your parents meeting. It speaks of the priority of loving God and praying. The long love life of 74 years. Amazing how people can walk together in deep love, when God is at the center! May God comfort your mum, you and your family and all that knew your dad. Blessings and encouragement during the memorial service and the time following. Your mum is in the grip of the Lord! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Derek, that is a beautiful statement of how sometimes the smallest ( or a large) thing can trigger something in us that makes us reach out. Whether its for Love, attraction or need. While it was very innocent and not invasive, technically your Father David “stalked” Grace, with I am sure the purist of intentions. Once you hear an Angels voice, you can’t help but follow it! Hope to see you at the service tomorrow. Jim Wills

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s