Seriously. Maybe this is typical of the age I’m at, but sometimes I think about it and am swept away with appreciation for them.
My mom grew up in poverty in a tiny town in Tennessee. When she graduated high school, the schools weren’t yet successfully integrated because it had only happened a few years before then (late 60s-early 70s!). Yet only a year into her education at Lipscomb, she was working with Inner City African-American children as a outreach program. Fascinating—the seeds of that kind of acceptance don’t just develop over night. Despite the racist town and family life, my mother obviously had the awareness to say that skin color is not important. That is beautiful.
My grandmother rejected religion, forced into it as a child, then scorned by it as a young adult, she never had a kind thing to say about church, religion, or God…though she did have a few profane words. Honestly, if I had been dealt the hand that she was handed(widowed before her 6th child was born), I would be bitter too. Hell, I’ve been that bitter and the universe has treated me superbly well. My mom wasn’t sheltered by this hardness from religion though, she had much interaction with religion as my great-grandmother was adamant. However, it is amazing to me that raised in a slightly hostile religious environment-in family and in the culture she was raised, my mother sought. She sought what she thought (and thinks) to be the truth. That is amazing.
This is just the mom version, the dad version is coming soon.
A friend said to me recently that he hoped his children treated him with grace (especially in regards to religion) because he is sincerely doing what he feels is best and most true at the moment, but that will likely change someday. I don’t always agree with my mother, but I have been able to express to her how I feel about homosexual rights, abortion, and war—some pretty testy topics in general, much less with added religion. I have been blessed enough to not only have a mother who is present, but one who offers this kind of grace to me, without my asking. Sometimes though, I catch myself answering a question like my mom would, responding to a new idea, or acting like she does and it makes me swell with pride. Amazing.