Grace is back behind the pulpit, and not everyone is happy about it. While the bishop is out of town, he’s handed the reins to his daughter, creating a controversy within the family. Lady Mae believes Grace is set on using the stage to embarrass her parents, possibly accusing them of playing a role in Faith’s death.
Lady Mae, intent on setting things straight, pays a visit to Grace. “You’re preaching this Sunday,” Lady Mae says.
“Yeah,” Grace replies warily. “That wasn’t my idea. If—”
Lady Mae cuts her off. “Oh, I know whose idea it was, and I just wanted you to know, dear, in case it ever occurred to you to doubt it at all, you have my complete support.”
“Thank you for letting me know.”
“I still remember, you know?” Lady Mae says. “Just like it was yesterday. You were 5 years old when you recited your first Easter piece in front of the church. Do you remember?”
“Um, Jesus appearing before Mary?”
“John 20,” Lady Mae corrects her. “Everybody walked up to your father and me afterwards, and they said, ‘Ooh, that is one talkin’ child!'” Lady Mae chuckles to herself. “And we were so proud.”
Lady Mae’s voice lowers as she turns her attention to the real reason for her visit. “So, I guess what I want to say is…is that I hope it’s your intent to use the authority of the pulpit on Sunday for institutional purposes and not as a switch to punish us publicly. Well, that would be such a cruel thing to do to your father, especially in his absence. Don’t you agree?”
“Mama?” Grace’s voice cracks.
“Do you love me at all?” Grace asks matter-of-factly.
“What a ludicrous question!” Lady Mae says sternly.
“No, it’s a real question,” Grace continues. “Do you love me?”
“Of course I love you, Grace. I also love your father, and I love this church, and I just hope that you approach this opportunity with the appropriate humility. That’s all. For your sake. Do you understand?”
“Yeah,” Grace says, hardly able to speak.
“Then, I’ll let you be,” Lady Mae says, flashing a toothy grin that doesn’t quite reach her eyes, and she makes her exit.