Ruth, Justine, Elaine and Wanda These are my spiritual grandmothers. These women in their 60s, 70s and 80s rescued me in my mid-20s. At that time, I found myself unemployed, moving back in with my parents. Moving home meant being home for my mother’s Bible study. Every other Friday morning, several women, mostly older adults, gathered around our kitchen table with Bibles, coffee and baked goods to talk about the next session in their study.
Perhaps noticing my lack of engagement, one woman asked what I thought. “You’re young,” she said. “You probably have a different outlook than us old ladies.” When I answered, they all paid attention. They asked follow-up questions. They wanted me to be part of their group. I started looking forward to Fridays.
The Bible study dissolved years ago, but these women remain dear to me. I am now the youth leader at our congregation, teaching a group of 12- to 20-year-olds. I try to remember the power of the attention and curiosity my spiritual grandmothers showed me. I want my students to feel as heard and loved as I felt.
This message is an excerpt from “My spiritual grandmothers” by Rebecca Eve Schweitzer in the May 2018 issue of Gather magazine.Today we remember Mary Magdalene, apostle (transferred) and Birgitta of Sweden, renewer of the church, who died in 1373.
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