Monthly Archives: May 2011
This is probably the hardest Mothers Day for me since the first one after my mom died in September of 2004. My siblings and I are the first in our family on either side to go to college. Last year at this time we celebrated my little brother finishing a BA in graphic design. My baby sister is currently working on a degree in education. I am so proud of them both. Tomorrow I graduate from Seminary. Mom would be proud of us all.
The final step of completing my M.Div was writing an autobiographical statement of faith called “Credo.” For me this turned out to be a 57 page document in 5 chapters (to put things into perspective that is a little over 20,000 words or about 80 pages in a typical non-fiction book at 250 words/page). The following is an excerpt from my first chapter. Happy mothers day Mom:
My mother modeled a deep faith for me most of my life. She was raised Roman Catholic but quit the church for a number of years. In my early childhood she began taking me and my younger brother and sister to worship every Sunday, whether my father went or not. It was a decisive breaking with her Catholic upbringing. We attended a variety of congregations, but always in a Protestant and decidedly revivalist tradition. My mom taught Sunday school, worked in the church nursery and attended Bible studies. She also suffered from depression and traumatic memories. She wrestled with God every day; sometimes just waking up was a struggle. I didn’t know it growing up but I actually come from a long line of folks who have wrestled with God.
I am part of a deep and wide family of faith that encompasses the Roman Catholic Church that my mother rejected as well as the revivalists and evangelical communities from which I have inherited my piecemeal faith. This faith family traces their lineage all the way back to the Patriarch Abraham of the Hebrew scriptures. At our worst this family is like any family at their worst – like my family of origin, like Abraham’s family – full of discord and rife with infighting. At our best we find ourselves – like Abraham’s descendent Jacob at the river Jabbok- wrestling, with no one less than the God of the universe in a front-headlock and the divine hand on our hip socket. We find ourselves pleading, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” In that process we like Jacob, come away limping. But, with a blessing and our identities altered, we limp towards a better future.