She was once the queen of the congregation—always elegantly dressed
and with a delicate smile. She is the wife of a former pastor who died
a long time ago. He was a good man, but her influence in the church has
far outlived his influence.
There was a day when she made her way
through the church's fellowship hall like a prima ballerina moving
graciously across the floor. Sometimes she provided a gentle and caring
face on a prophetic sermon that had just been delivered by her husband
or one of his successors. At other times she was welcoming a visitor,
smoothing an elder's ruffled feathers from a difficult committee
meeting, responding to a denominational vote that left someone grumpy
or answering questions about the new director of music—all while
sipping coffee and "just chatting."