Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Portraits: Madame V

This precious Madame V is one of my favorites. At first I wasn't so sure about her. She seemed a little strict, and corrected the pronunciation on nearly every single French word that came out of my mouth. But now? Well, she still corrects everything, but we're becoming good friends. I go to her house every Tuesday afternoon for at least 3.5 hours. We talk about all sorts of things, like the time way back when she lived in California. And I hear all sorts of things about plants and flowers. They're her passion, an she has a new one every week. Or sometimes after I show her pictures of my family at Christmas we talk about how it's crazy that some Americans wear pajamas on Christmas. All morning. And half way through our chat she makes some tea and gives me a couple (okay, three) Pepperidge Farm cookies.

Towards the end her husband comes home from playing bridge. He speaks English much better, so he likes to tease her for her pronunciation and vocabulary. Madame V has now made sure that we always speak French at the end  so as not to run the risk of being teased by her funny husband. It hardly ever works out that way though, and he always seems to irritate her and make me laugh.

The first time I met her I was with Nancy. She told us, "I am Catholic. You are Protestant. We respect each other's religions." Interestingly enough, not thirty minutes later she was asking what we believe about creation and how long the earth has been in existence. She speaks of religion far more than any other French person I know except the ones I see at church. I'm not sure I'll ever understand how she still considers herself Catholic even though she hasn't been to a Catholic church in over 35 years. And last week we had this conversation, which still amazes me.

Sometimes she brings up things in her life that really scare her, and I can see all the anxiety in her life. Usually it's about things that are rather trivial, but I wish she knew a Savior to take all the fear away. It's impossible to tell where her heart is really at. She's an anomaly to me, so very attached to Catholicism and yet so very curious about what I believe. But I don't always need to understand. I pray and know that He must do the work. All I have to do is obey. What a wonderful thought.

Pray with me for Madame V. How desperately she needs His salvation!


  1. Your description of Madame V reminds me of myself when I was young, and others I know. Catholicism teaches that it is the only TRUE religion and only by being Roman Catholic will you enter heaven. Being brought up Catholic, I remember being very curious about other religions, but very afraid to walk into a church of another religion. Much of it was just fear of the unknown. You are showing Madame V that those who are not Catholic do not have horns. Just keep being friends. Someday you may be able to show her things in the Bible. And use a Catholic Bible if you can (there is very little difference). The part of Catholicism that will need to be breached is 'TRADITION'. I really think that means more to the RC Church than the Word of God. Tradition is not things like having turkey on Thanksgiving. It is more the extrabiblical writings. Hmmmm. I used to wonder about those. What they were. Why are they not made 'public'. Secrets are what breeds fear.

  2. There is someone in my life who is really fearful too, really struggles with it. It is one of those things that you cannot logic out of someone or talk somebody out of. They don't need counseling, they need Jesus. All we can do is pray, but its enough. :)