I don’t know why Mother comes home and tells these stories on herself. She wasn’t arrested or shunned by her congregation. Despite the impression the title of this post makes, Mother is very faithful to her faith, tithing, attending services weekly, and supportive of her church. She normally writes a monthly check for her tithe, but one Sunday decided give an extra cash gift. This was a fine idea, except that she only had twenties and wanted to give fifty dollars, not sixty. Well, the obvious solution to her was to put three twenties in the offering plate and take out a ten. For most people, this would have worked out fine, but Mother has been known to bumble, especially when she is concentrating hard. When the plate was passed, she put in her three twenties and lifted a ten and a twenty. She felt vaguely uneasy passing the plate on.
It was on her mind through the rest of the service, getting little out of the service, except a vague feeling of guilt when the pastor chose the text of “the widow’s mite.” As soon as she got home, she counted her cash, realizing she’d committed a theft from God. She wasn’t struck down by lightning when she waited until the following to return that twenty.
Anxious not to repeat that error. She decided it would be best to purchase a money order to put in the offering plate. Mother is notoriously tight with her money. Hearing that “Mr. Thrifty,” the local liquor store had the cheapest money orders, she scurried in to purchase one. Unfortunately, she locked her keys in the car. There was no way to hide this fiasco. She had to call me to bring her the extra key. Naturally, I made the most of this ridiculous situation, since she CLAIMS to be a teetotaler.
The story didn’t end there. As she put her money order in the offering plate the next Sunday morning, she noticed a big “Mr. Thrifty” logo emblazoned prominently on the bottom. Baptists normally have the grace not to advertise their visits to liquor stores so boldly.
My sister’s son is a minister. Upon learning that he has accepted the pastorate of their home church, Connie remarked, “Now Mother has to start coming here. Oh no, forget that. He doesn’t need Mother stealing from the offering plate and losing her bra at our church.”
More on losing her bra at church later. (to be continued)