I always love seeing the well put together, grand old ladies going to church on Sunday morning.
There’s something so beautiful, so enriching about them. They usually dress in their Sunday best and are almost impeccable as they come to worship God on the Sabbath. As they sit dignified in the pews and kneel, there are hundred no a million stories about what rich lives they might have lived and served God in their own unique faithful ways.
They grew up during the days when no one dressed in sloth , not just to come to church but for almost every occasion. There was an unspoken dress code. No one did skinny jeans and t shirts and certainly not in church. You took the time to dress, you found the time to match accessories and make sure you were presentable. They didn’t and still don’t walk in with unkempt hair ; they are as well groomed as their age and station in life allows them to.
They are well versed in the art of inter-personal relationships – otherwise known as social skills. They do not look sullen and occupied with cellphones and social media. They know how to greet and make small talk, feats by today’s standards. They are concerned for others and would usually ask after the sick and the absent.
They take their obligations seriously. They are almost always on time and do not make mockery of coming late. Despite old age and aching bones, they can be found well in time in their slots. They belong to a generation that learnt keeping time without cellphones. They probably still own old style alarm clocks that have faithfully served them over the years.
They respect other people and take pride in their knowledge – although some may dismiss it as gossip of sorts. They are not preoccupied with selfies and social media status updates. They go for funerals and remember birthdays and not because Facebook prompts. They are likely to carry little diaries with birthdays and anniversaries faithfully jotted down. Like my mother does, they read obituaries in the newspapers and know if someone’s loved one has passed away.
The grand old ladies (I won’t call them little old ladies because most of them are not little but truly grand, having lived enriching lives) have so much to share with us. I admire the fact that almost all of them can still find the time to wear sari to church, when most of us have trouble finding anything other than jeans and a t shirt. They come from a time when you wore your best to be in God’s house every Sunday. They have always dressed well for whatever the occasion – and they still do.
In their own unique way, they share with us their legacy – a sort of a remembrance of a time when life was lived on different terms. When commitments mattered and one kept one’s word in many different ways. When asking after another was the thing to do – when obligations and values were prized over self-importance and selfishness. When frugality was preferred over wasteful abundance. When children had to learn life’s lessons the hard way.
So the next time you see a grand old lady in church or anywhere else, remember to go up and give her a hug – and ask yourself what you can learn from her. You will cherish the occasion.