Our church is currently without a pastor, and as we search for the next one, each Sunday different members of our congregation take on the responsibility for giving the reflection (aka, the sermon). It is a wonderful practice, allowing us to learn more about each other, and be inspired by one another’s stories.
This morning a dear friend stepped up to the pulpit and shared the story of the people and experiences that have helped shape her faith into what it is today. While she spoke of several significant relationships, the one that struck me the most was the influence of her mother. As it turns out, their relationship was complicated and painful. What made the story so powerful was that while she has had to live with and acknowledge the hurtful and hard parts, she has also chosen to honor and appreciate the significant and positive ways her mom influenced the faith she so values today.
Most of us are a mixed bag, and most of the time we are doing the best we can with what we’ve got to work with. However, when it comes to relationships that are different from how we wish them to be, especially one as significant as that between a daughter and a mother, it is easy to focus only on the negative and painful. My friend was able to sort out her mother’s mixed bag separating the good from the not-so-good, the wheat from the chaff, the gifts from the trash.
We can be quick to throw the out the baby with the bathwater. The story shared today was a grace-filled reminder that we don’t have to.