I have attended the same church for 30 years. My wife has attended this church for most of her life. We were married here, our children were baptized and raised within this church’s walls. To say that we are invested in this church would be an understatement.
Much like the church I was raised in and maybe like the one you attend we had a flock of old women who seemingly ran the church. One of them was on every committee, there was always one on the session. There were one or two that were very grandmotherly and sweet. They were a fixture in the nursery or teaching the little kids Sunday school. But then there was the mean one, the stern one. She always walked the halls of church with a serious and sometimes sour look on her face. She was the fixer, the heavy, the keeper of tradition, the person that would let everyone know this is how WE do it because this is who we are. This lady, our heavy, died this week.
It’s funny 30 years ago, as a 25-year-old, I thought she was old then. But 30 years ago she was just six years older than I am now. She was the general, the first to tell you were wrong but also the first to visit you in the hospital. The first to tell you that the sermon was a little wordy and the first to send you a sympathy note. The first to challenge the theology of a novice Sunday school teacher (me), and the first to thank-you for taking the time to prepare and teach (me again).
Church’s across the country have their flocks of old women, women stronger and more resilient than the bricks and mortar and 2 x 4’s that hold these structures together. We lost a good one this week and my family, many families, are grateful for her time, her love and dedication to this place, this church that she called home.