Senior Citizen Madames was not part of my formal seminary training. I had to learn this one through on the job training. In my second year serving a church in the Eastern Kentucky Mountains, I met a Senior Citizen Madame. Funny things that happen at church keep on happening.
She became fascinated with my social approach to ministry. The lady requested an appointment to discuss her joining the church I was serving. Funny things that happen at church keep on happening.
I had no concerns about her coming to the church. I already had bartenders, bootleggers, drug users, gamblers, and hustlers. I have an unexplainable affinity for these creative economists. These are the people I trust. They make no pretense about themselves or their motivations. Funny things that happen at church keep on happening.
I had no issue with her becoming part of the fellowship. I spoke to church leaders about her intention. Some voiced traditional holier than thou notions. Others were excited. These believed all in need of a savior must come just as they are. Funny things that happen at church keep on happening.
I met with the Senior Citizen Madame in her home. She is a lady over 60 with distinct appeal. As I prepared to knock on her door, she opened and said, “Welcome Reverend. I am so glad you could come.”
I entered and was escorted to her living room. She offered coffee. I accepted her hospitality. She is dressed in what appears to only be a housecoat. She sits beside me on the couch on my right. She places her left hand on my right leg. I am a bit nervous about this. Funny things that happen at church keep on happening.
A man comes out of her bedroom fixing his clothes. I know him. He has a home delivery food service. I buy food from him for my family.
“Good Morning, Rev.,” he said. Senior Citizen Madame goes to the door to see him out with a kiss. He tells her that he will see her later.
She returns to sit with me. She tells me it may be possible that our conversation will be interrupted but will I wait if she must step away to entertain for a moment. I agree I will.
Funny things that happen at church keep on happening. A visitor arrives. She winks at me. Her guest looks at me as he steps into her entertainment center. I sit wondering if I couldn’t have been chosen for another vocation. I conclude apparently not.
Shortly, her guest departs. She returns a bit later dressed in a very tight dress that splits up the front. She sits and our conversation continues.
She expresses concern for the flack I may go through when she comes to church. She expressed disgust for people she knows at church. She noted to me that they are frequent flyers of her services but act in public like they are holier than Mary, the mother of Jesus.
I assured her that was not uncommon in any church or other institution. Some people are just deluded. They think they are better than others. I so hoped none of them came while I was there. Funny things that happen at church keep on happening.
I assured her that I could handle any fall out. I actually looked forward to it. She had nothing to be concerned about.
At the end of my sermon on the following Sunday, I extended the open door of the church. As the music played, Senior Citizen Madame walked her cute self down the aisle and gave me her hand.
I embraced her with a loving welcome. I set a chair for her to sit. I placed an empty one next to her and said to the congregation, “If any among you think you to be without sin and would deny our sister church membership, come and sit by her side. Speak now or forever hold your peace.”
None spoke. The congregation then stood. They formed a line to welcome our sister by extending to her the right hand of fellowship. Sister Senior Citizen Madame was pleased with her reception.
Funny things that happen at church keep on happening. Whisperings around the church were heard to report, “Rev. is going to get a discount.”