Shania never missed church, was a member of the church choir. If her pastor ever needed a lady to step into any role in church urgently, he always could depend on Shania. The older women in church praised Shania’s energy and dedication, set her up as an example for younger women. Younger women who cared about church, filled with admiration — every single one of them wanted to be like Shania. Single women her age? Content with church men not caught up in Shaniamania.
Much to everyone’s chagrin and surprise, Shania showed up in church one otherwise glorious Sunday on the arm of some guy whose hair was all greased up. Think Commodores style greased up way before the Commodores all grew up. Think “you see this much grease you think am a hoodlum greased up.” No pun intended, Commodores — ‘Still’, ‘Just to be close to you’, ‘Easy’ ‘Three times a lady’ ‘Sail on’ ‘Jesus is Love’ — some of the best composed songs ever, period.
“Must be a spiritually lost biological brother” thought Shania’s pastor. No way his Shania would date, talk less of marry ‘greased up’.
“How are you doing Shania,” her pastor asked, almost gasping, having run up immediately after the church service to ensure the moment was not lost.
“Doing great pastor. I would like you to meet my husband, Lenore. We were in Vegas last week, he popped the question, I said yes, and here we are married. I am sorry this is coming as a surprise, but like I said it was a surprise for me as well.”
Shania’s pastor knew he had to deadpan through the conversation, not give away his unhappiness at the turn of events, his disdain for this hoodlum look alike young man.
“Congratulations to you both. But Shania” he said, “could you stop by my office sometime this week? I really could use your insight and your help with some matters. I am sure your husband would not mind.”
“Sure Pastor,” enthused Shania.
While the conversation was ongoing, just about all of the women stood about wondering how exactly their Shania, their very own Shania somehow had ended up with ‘greased up’. How could a woman who stood for everything a pastor’s wife was expected to be desire or date, talk less of marry ‘greased up’? If Shania could wind up with greased up, what exactly did that say about their marital futures?
As everyone stood about wondering, Mama Emma, one of the most active older women in church remembered a conversation she had with Shania months or about a year back.
Shania had enquired of her what exactly she thought about all of the stories in the Bible. Did she think all of those stories actually happened, or did she think they were just fables? Shania had confided that while it was clear to her Jesus was a real person, she was not sure just how much of Jesus in the Bible could be interpreted to be real events vis-a-vis stories made up by His disciples.
Tears streaked her cheeks as she remembered her response. She remembered turning to Shania and scolding her saying,
“How can you Shania, one of the most active women in church be doubting your faith? If you doubt, what exactly do you expect will happen with all of those young women looking up to you? You better cast all of those doubts out of your mind and just be praising Jesus and trusting Him you hear me? The Bible says you have to trust Jesus, maintain your faith in Him no matter what; and that exactly is what you, young woman are going to do.”
As she cast a glance at a beaming Shania out of the corner of her eye, now, months later, Mama Emma realized she had substituted zeal for church activities for spiritual maturity. She had forgotten it always was the case people would get zealous for what their parents stood for well before taking out of time for pondering things for themselves. She had made the classic mistake church people make, thinking there was anyone in church above doubting.
Subsequent to her conversation with Mama Emma, Shania, who had been experiencing some disappointments in her personal life, hence her doubts, met Lenore aka ‘greased up’ who made her forget all of her troubles — something no brother in church ever before had accomplished. When he popped the question in Las Vegas, she asked herself, “Do I have anything better waiting for me back home?” With a ‘No’ answer staring her in the face she accepted Lenore’s proposal, got wedded in Las Vegas without her pastor’s counseling, knowledge, or approval.
As Mama Emma watched Lenore and Shania walk out of church, she whispered a prayer for the couple to Jesus Christ, praying that somehow regardless of the odds Shania would find happiness where it seemed there could be none. She vowed to herself never to take a voicing of doubts for granted ever again. If Shania had found someone to listen to her, attend to her doubts perhaps she would not now be looking for happiness in ‘greased up’.
Mama Emma caught herself. If she was to be any help to Shania she would have to find out her husband’s name, stop referring to him as ‘greased up’. But then again, she would indulge in ‘greased up’ for just a little while longer, at least until a formal introduction.
“Shania married ‘greased up’” she chuckled to herself as she shuffled her way out of church.