She doesn’t go to church anymore.
It’s not that she doesn’t want to. There has been no faith crisis. If anything, her devotion to Christ is growing stronger. She just doesn’t go to church anymore.
A few years back her husband got sick. Recently he took a turn for the worse. His body betrayed him. His wife didn’t.
Every time I see her she’s smiling. When we talk, she spends most of the time complimenting me. And her church.
She can’t say enough about them.
Thursday morning was no different. She sat across the room from me. Her husband was a few chairs to my left. It’s hard for him to carry on a conversation. Conversations come easy for her. It’s her chance to talk about her church. She told me about Rudy and Marvin and how they do such a good job of just dropping by to make sure things are okay. She told me about the time right before Christmas when Anne and the other ladies in her class brought food. She told me about Amy making sure that some kind of food is brought to her house every Thursday.
She can’t quit talking about her church. And how blessed she is.
The lady who spends her days taking care of a man twice her size but only a fraction of the man he used to be says that she is blessed. Blessed, even though her knees aren’t what they used to be. Blessed, even as her broken hip tries to heal, her doctor tells her to slow down and her cane reminds her that she’s not as young as she used to be.
While she spoke to me I looked beyond her, over her right shoulder to the TV that sat behind her. On the shelf below there were scores of white envelopes, neatly stacked. Inside were DVD recordings of those church services she doesn’t get to go to anymore. Each white envelope was delivered by someone from her church. Rudy. Marvin. Keith.
They look after her faithfully. Just like she looks after her sick husband.
She tells me that it feels so good not to be forgotten.
She smiles like a blessed woman.
But she doesn’t go to church anymore.
And that’s okay.
Because her church comes to her.