Chicago was my mother’s town, and she knew the inner mysteries of the grand Marshall Field’s department store on State Street as well as she knew her own closet. When she took my sister Ann and me shopping, we each grabbed a handful of the flared back of her gray winter coat and followed her through the store, clinging like burrs on a sweater. We trusted her guidance as we wove through the crowds. Ann and I would have been lost if we had ever let go of that coat.
When I left home to attend university, I had begun to doubt my mother as an unerring guide through life. Some of the values she imparted I cling to as tightly as I clung to her woolen coat as a child: take care of your family, nurture friendships, keep an orderly home, trust in God, go to church, help others. Those are enduring values for me. On the other hand, I have let go of some other things my mother taught me.
I have had to live my own process of moral deliberation and discernment—not accept without question everything handed down to me, but respect what I was given and then decide for myself.
This message was adapted from “Still: Journeying Together Faithfully” written by Mary Mortimore Dossin that first appeared in the January/February 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.