Mother Louise — a true church hero

John Hatcher's picture

Louise Stanley, my 85-year-old friend, could not make it to church this past first Sunday of the New Year. Did she have transportation? Well, kinda’ sorta’ She has a modern Buick sitting under her garage, but has come to the conclusion that it’s not the wisest thing in the world to drive.

I mean to tell you that it was the first service of the New Year — watch night service, you know — where they say goodbye to the old year and bring in the New Year with praises, prayers, and a shot of the Lord’s wine and a piece of his broken body.

Although she was fairly certain she would be attending the first full service of the New Year because she had regular, and faithful taxi service provided my church members, she had almost discounted any chance of going to the Watch Night Service. But, just in case a way was opened, she had shoes on and dress on the ready.

I have often used Louise’s example to our congregation. I have never ever seen anyone who wanted to be in church as much as Louise. She’s known as “Mother” or “Mother Louise” among the members. Upon arriving and being seated, children, one by one, come by to give her a hug, a kiss, or to tell her something new in their lives. As she moves from the supper table to her seat in the congregation, deacons attend to her move. Everyone wants to make sure that Mother Louise is comfortable and in her right spot. But when she’s not there, oh...

It’s not just a one way street, though. Since Mother Louise attends church with greater regularity than most members, she is able to track who was there and who was not. Arriving home and during the week, she places sweet telephone calls to the absentees, and often to our new guests.

When there is an emergency in the church, Mother Louise is the one who gets the word about. Many of the deacons and ministers would not know what’s happening without a call from Mother Louise. She’s like “Central Command.”

And as much as she would have wanted to be in her place in church on New Year’s Day, late Saturday evening she must have lost her footing and fell, face down, to such extent she was unable to reach her emergency call button. It was her niece who found her 30 minutes later. Upshot: broken humerus bone. As always, she handles misfortune with humor and a concern for the other person. That’s so typical.

If you are still looking for a New Year’s Resolution or hero to emulate, you don’t have to go any further than born and bred right here in Fayette County, Louise Stanley, one of a kind.

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