Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why so serious?

A former colleague known for her fashion sense once told me that despite these casual times, she dresses up in heels, hose, dress, and hat for church every Sunday, even in the dead of winter.

"I've given up wearing skirts to church in the winter," I responded. "Our church is too drafty. My legs would get cold."

"Perhaps," she said, "but isn't God worth the effort?"

I thought of her this morning as I surveyed the crowd assembled at the funeral of a sweet church lady who died this week at age 93. I wore black dress, heels, and hose (but no hat--I don't do hats), but only one other woman was wearing a dress and she was also a pastor's wife. Only the two pastors present wore suits. Everyone else looked as if they'd dressed for a festive family picnic--and not just the little kids but adults, including the closest relatives of the deceased.

Part of me wanted to harrumph and say "Isn't Lucy worth the effort?" But then Lucy never harrumphed at anyone in her life. I've known her close to 15 years and never heard her utter a negative word. She loved people, all kinds of people, whether they wore dresses and hats or jeans and t-shirts, and she would have been so delighted to have all her friends and family gathered round that she wouldn't have noticed what they were wearing.

Well, she might have noticed me. I'm sure my black dress stood out like a sore thumb amidst all those casual summer colors. Next time I attend a funeral, I'm stashing a change of clothes in my car.  

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