Monday, April 19, 2010

Church Ladies

When I moved from the strict conservative denomination where I grew up to a more moderate one, I found that many things stayed the same: music, gossip, potlucks, board (bored) meetings, Sunday School, and funeral dinners.

During my first week at this new church, we prepared for a potluck luncheon. An older lady came by to check the kitchen for supplies.

I've known ladies like this all my life. They are the ones who make the church go. They check supplies, make the phone calls, teach the classes, watch the nursery, and keep the pastor informed of the latest town gossip. They bring food to every funeral, meeting, potluck, and sick family. They fill the children at church with candy but disapprove of how young parents allow them to run about in the church. They are the conscience of the community, clucking and pursing their lips at the innappropriateness of it all.

This was one of those ladies. But then she blew the stereotype when she looked in the fridge and said, JESUS CHRIST! We're out of butter!"

I've heard church ladies like her offer utterances of a tamer quality: Heavens! My Lands! and Oh Noooo! But invoking the name of the Almighty's begotten Son was what you did after suffering a brain injury.

I decided I was taking it wrong. She was not cursing. She was praying.

"Brothers and sister, I perceive that you are religious in every way. Why, you even call upon the Lord to confer about the unknown origins of dairy products...."


  1. Ha! I don't think even I would make that exclamation. ;-)

  2. Just too funny! :) Perspective is (almost) everything! ~K

  3. Mike, and you call yourself an Agnostic! Seriously, I appreciate that you are respectful of other's beliefs.

    K--ahh, perspective. I tend to lose it fairly often. It was funny and you know, that little lady could drive folks crazy but she became one of my favorites. She had a beautiful heart--even if her language was a little raw.

  4. Some of the things I say in private might result in a sailor being found weeping softly in the fetal position. ;-)