I am that woman

From Clayton M. Christensen’s The Power of Everyday Missionaries: “On one Sunday Sister Virginia Perry, whose husband, L. Tom Perry, was president of the Boston Stake, noticed a woman who had quietly found a space on the back row in the Weston chapel, having arrived a few minutes late for sacrament meeting. She was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and had come on her motorcycle. Sister Perry quickly sensed that the woman felt that she didn’t fit in. Everyone else was wearing their Sunday best and was sitting with their families. So Sister Perry left her family alone, went to the back pew, and asked the visitor if she would mind if she sat beside her. When the woman smiled in the affirmative, Sister Perry put her arm around her. The next Sunday Sister Perry came to church wearing Levi’s and a T-shirt.”

I am that woman. I know many others who are that woman. I love Sister Perry for this story. The purpose of the event isn’t to make everybody wear pants. Skirts are great. I wear them often. (Last year I heard a number of people expressing glee that the event had “failed” because most sisters did not show up in pants). The purpose was and is to show love for those who did show up in pants. For those who worry they do not belong. And in that sense, “Wear Pants to Church” was both a great success and a great failure. I hope that this year, and in years to come, the success will be higher than the failure. Last year, I was the only one in my ward to wear pants. This year, two sisters from that ward have RSPVed. And the gesture means more to me than I can say.

– Noelle