Today, three years ago today, Jane’s Mother joined the Church at Rest. This is something I wrote as a tribute.
It’s the things that we see but that we don’t see because we so readily take the things we see for granted that make all the difference. Jane’s Mom was a Pastor’s wife during a time when Pastor’ wives properly embraced the reality that their role was to be in the shadow of their husbands, working in the background so that the ministry of Christ could go forward. Jane’s Mom didn’t seek the limelight. She was too busy putting together the evening treats for the company who would be invited by her husband every Sunday after the evening service. Jane’s Mom didn’t seek the limelight. She was too busy practicing piano for Sunday Church service or too busy watching the littles in the nursery during Church. Jane’s Mom didn’t seek the limelight. She was too busy cooking meals or cleaning the scrapes and bruises of her littles. Modesty was a watchword and she was ever vigilant in practicing modesty so that her husband might be Christ’s voice to the congregation. But make no mistake about it… there would have been no Pastor Lombardi doing the work of the ministry of Christ if there had not been a Donna Lombardi doing the work of the ministry of Christ spending her time being modest. She was an example of the woman being made for the man (I Cor. 11:9). Were she alive today she would be embarrassed just by what I’ve said already.
She was from an era when women understood that they weren’t being abused because they served and prioritized their husbands. An era that found the woman’s zeal in being committed to her husband and children… and later grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And by being committed to them she was demonstrating her commitment to Christ.
In some places, they call this “Old-School.” I just call it Biblical feminity. There was nothing flashy or inspiring about it all, until you took the time to see what you thought you were seeing but had missed seeing. This is one vital and important part of what made the Christian West the Christian West. Our womenfolk weren’t uppity. They weren’t trying to be noticed.
“3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair or gold jewelry or fine clothes, 4but from the inner disposition of your heart, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.…”
She didn’t walk on water. Like us all, she had her moments when the silliness oftentimes seen in the ministry got the best of her. At times her tongue could sheer sheet metal. But could I pour a little Donna Lombardi in our wives in the West today I would pour liberally.