Be a Doris

January 15, 2018 | 15 comments

Doris was our pastor’s wife in the early 1980s.

When I called her house — often looking for my mom — it was from our old rotary phone in the kitchen. It was the kind of phone with a twirly cord that could stretch the length of a room.

Doris didn’t know who was calling, of course, because in the 1980s, no one had mobile phones or caller ID. There was no such thing as “screening calls.” The pastor’s wife always answered the phone the same way, every time:

“God loves you! This is Doris.”

It didn’t matter who was on the other end, dialing into her house. That’s how she answered the phone.

The caller could have been her accountant, her hairdresser, an escaped convict, the next-door neighbor, an insurance salesman, or a politician running for office. She’d answer her phone with the same greeting because she wanted you to know that you’re loved.

I hadn’t thought about Doris’s greeting for years, but the memory returned last week. I suppose it’s because we got word that Doris passed away, after more than 90 years on this earth.

Here’s what I’m sure of: The world still needs people like Doris. The world needs people who tell the rest of us that we’re loved, no matter who we are. I’ve seen the people who need to hear it. I’ll bet you’ve seen them, too. You’ve seen them in Target, and in your Instagram feed, and across the aisle at church. Some of you have seen that love-hungry someone looking back at you in the mirror.

We all need someone to remind us that we are treasured by God.

Read the rest of the post over at (in)courage. It might be just what we need in times like these. Click here. 

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by | January 15, 2018 | 15 comments


  1. Susan

    I hope and pray that in some way I am a Doris. A woman with a good word, a word of encouragement, a woman who hears the Spirit of God and reacts with a card, or a call, or a book, or something tangible. We all need a Doris at one time or other – it is my hope that I can be Doris to many. Let it be, Lord. xo Praying for all of you. Jennifer, you look tired. Take some soul care.

  2. Sarah Geringer

    I laughed out loud…an escaped convict! I remember those “scary” days of no caller ID–how did we survive?!? I also remember using a rotary dial telephone and a curly cord that stretched 8 ft. or longer. What a blessing that Doris was bold in her faith on the phone. Now thousands more will be inspired by her story since it’s on your blog and (in)courage today. We never know how far our influence can spread, do we?

  3. Michele Morin

    Loved this post over at (in)courage, and it only improves when it’s embellished with Happy Cupcakes (with sprinkles!).

  4. Liz

    YES!! Doris sounds like she let really let her little light shine!!

  5. Rebecca

    We all need this reminder so much, and you are exactly right: sometimes it’s the one in the mirror who needs it.

  6. JViola79

    I love this post! We so need Dorises in our lives. I have been blessed
    to have a few over the course of my life. But more so, I pray that God
    would mold me to be more like Doris in the days ahead. Wonderful post!

  7. Barbara H.

    This is convicting this week because my conscience is still smarting over an incidence in the grocery store recently. I was agitated because I was in an unfamiliar store and didn’t know where things were, plus I was in a hurry. I was bent over the bagged salad bin, rifling through looking for a reasonably fresh batch, when someone bent over, stuck her her in beside me, and asked how I was. I didn’t look up, but said, “Fine.” She must not have heard me, because she bent in and asked again. And I am afraid I answered her rather sharply. Instead of conveying any sense of God’s love, I gave off clear “Don’t bother me!” vibes. I’ve confessed it to the Lord, and I am thankful for His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and longsuffering. I’m not naturally a Doris, but I pay for God’s grace to be more like her.

  8. Beth

    Very inspiring, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing here and at incourage!

  9. Rachel Lee

    I really, truly loved this! So inspiring!
    PS- I have greatly enjoyed the 5 day challenge! I especially enjoyed the article on the word “should” and replacing it with “get to.” Such a small change, but It really does alter our perspective, AND our attitude!

  10. Sue Donaldson

    Love your Doris story (and sometimes, the good ol days!) One of our pastor’s wives was named Doris and I still tell Doris stories – on hospitality! great post.

  11. Lureta Ector

    Yes the world definitely needs more people like Doris. People who are not afraid to express ans share God’s love.
    You have a lovely memory of a godly lady. Blessings

  12. Maree Dee

    Yes, we all need a Doris in our life. But more important we need to try and be a Doris. Thank you for sharing about a special lady. I am sure she will be missed by many.

  13. June

    Your story reminds me of the one about the little boy who would pick up the phone (in those days the operator answered) and ask her all sorts of questions. We need to be people like Doris, like the operator, like Jesus who respond with love and grace regardless of the circumstances. Blessings on your week, Jennifer.

  14. Sherry Thecharmofhome

    What a great greeting! Love this. Thanks for sharing and hosting!



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