After my Grannie died in September, the big challenge was obviously going through the house where she and my Grandaddy had lived for 50+ years. Her house was meticulously organized, even her extra bedroom-turned-closet.
One of the first things my mom and aunt tackled was the large collection of linens. It was no secret that Grannie loved linens. Tablecloths, napkins, towels, OMGTHEHANDTOWELS, sheets, and comforters. They kept the ones they wanted for themselves and gave the others away to places that might be able to use them.
The other thing that was no secret that my Grannie AND Grandaddy shared a love for was their collection of coats, jackets, and sweaters. There were dozens, if not over a hundred. Because living in Southwest Central Georgia requires a large collection of winter wear.
Whatever: old people get cold.
Anyway, there was a large collection. None of the grandchildren wanted or needed any of the items and neither did my mom or aunt. They would be better served with people who truly needed them.
A little before Christmas, my mom and aunt packed them up and my mom rode around with them in her car for a while. Right before our first big winter storm of this year (who knew), I told her she needed to look for a coat closet of some sort to give them to or take them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. People NEEDED the coats and she had them all in her car.
She called around to different churches, asking if they had a ministry that would take them. They all sent her to another church and another and another. Nobody had a coat ministry.
Finally, my mom got a man on the phone at a church that said, “Yes ma’am, come on and bring them to me at your convenience.”
So she did.
When she arrived at the church, the ladies in the office were very confused. Apparently they didn’t have a coat closet ministry, and my mom must surely have the wrong church. They talked back and forth for a few minutes, wondering who my mom confused them with, when they heard a man’s voice from the back office.
“Is that the lady with the coats?”
Even more confused, they answered, “Yes,” and he came to greet my mom.
The ladies kept on, “But we don’t HAVE a coat ministry, Pastor. Did you really talk to her?”
“Ladies,” he said. “We’ve never had a coat closet, but there’s a need for one. She has coats to give us, so we now have a coat closet ministry.”
Before my mom left, he shared a few more words with him. He told her, “God provided the coats for the closet; now He will direct us to the need for them.”
And so the coat closet ministry at that church was started.
And so it ever shall be.