stories, story

A Story about Sunday Afternoon Showers at Church


My home church in Arkansas, the one I grew up in and that my Daddy preaches at, is celebrating being a church for 30 years this June. In honor of that anniversary, I wrote this story:

Sunday Showers circa 1989.

Mother had just settled into her Sunday afternoon state of being half asleep on the couch when the phone rang.

The phone was on the wall in the kitchen with an extra long cord that enabled Mother to get all the way to the bottom of the stairs to yell up at us without interrupting her long telephone counseling sessions.

We could usually tell who she was talking to by her responses.
Hello Julie? 



Today is the baby shower and no one is here. Get up here!

Mother hung up the phone, grabbed her keys and headed out the door.

Back soon! I forgot that Carole is giving a shower!

Attending baby showers at church on Sunday afternoons when you were too full from Sunday lunch to manage even a bite of the cake is one of my strangely strongest memories of growing up in a church.

Many Fellowship baby showers were for mamas who were expecting unexpectedly. Or rushed wedding showers that also doubled as baby showers.

From the early days, Fellowship folks have had a heart for the outsider. Being a fairly motley group of outsiders from the beginning days at the YMCA, I like to think that we have managed to hold on to being on the fringe even as our rough edges have become a bit more polished over the years.

On this particular Sunday afternoon, Mother ran into Walmart to grab a gift and she ran into Diane. They both laughed to discover they had received the same phone call from a panicked hostess who had snuck off to “make coffee” and made a few calls.

Long before cell phones, email chains and text messages, telephones where ringing off many kitchen walls on a Sunday afternoon to remind women of a small overlooked line printed in a church bulletin.

Baby Shower next week for {a young mom} Sunday. 2-4.

But then here they came. Late, frazzled and maybe a little bit sleepy. Mother and Diane. Ann, Donna, Nancy and Sherry. With diapers and onesies for the new mom and well wishes for a baby’s bright future.

The image of those ladies gathering around a scared, young mama is still quintessentially Fellowship to me. A party for someone who doesn’t have anyone to invite to a party. People who will rouse themselves from sleepy states on couches for someone they have never met. And even the fact that none of it was very refined or even terribly convenient.

It just feels like Jesus to me.


  1. Made me so happy to have this in my inbox this morning.
    This story has always made me giggle.

    1. I do love it so much. Also, really enjoying all the stories! Daily treats this month!

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