On Sunday, I attended an afternoon worship service for the dedication of a new church building. A friend of mine serves as pastor, and what a building! They did not renovate the sanctuary...the built a brand new building for classrooms, daycare, offices...but the most impressive part, I mean, the part that made me drool was their kitchen! Oh, the work table! Oh, the refrigerator! Oh, the warming thing-amajig! I know the amount of food that goes out of our church kitchen, so of course, I was thinking to myself, "Just imagine what WE could do with this kitchen!"
But, the part of the kitchen that inspired me the most was the group the church ladies working it! They were refilling punch bowls, putting out fresh trays of goodies, refreshing cookie plates - and being friendly and charming the entire time. And, you know, I could go into almost any church and find a core of church ladies who do the same thing.
In fact, I think of the church ladies I knew growing up - my grandmothers and my great aunts were church ladies. Then, there was Nettie, who was a brave church lady who worked with the youth. There was Joyce who sang in the choir. There was Kathy who took care of my sister and me once when my dad got really sick and had to go to the hospital. I think about the church ladies I know now - they just know how to 'do' and then they do it. Do you know what I mean?
There is an art to being a church lady. If you are going to be any good at it, you have to love being at your church. Seriously - you cannot get all mad because you're not at home on your couch. You have to be willing to serve even when you get no recognition or attention. You have to have a flair for something - cooking, table decorations, compassion, service, conversation...and if you don't have that kind of flair, be an organizer and delegate, delegate, delegate.
All of those church ladies on Sunday were so happy with their new kitchen. But, I could have swapped them out with the church ladies in my church or the church ladies from my youth, and the result would have been the same...a roomful of people eating, sharing stories, laughing...and a Table that just keeps getting refilled.