Don't BE good - DO good
(a Mother's Day tribute)
Mom taught children’s church and Sunday school for over half a century.
Let that sink in again for half a moment - she taught children’s church and Sunday school for over half a century.
Mom didn’t teach theology. She didn’t teach doctrine. She didn’t teach a lot of “thou shalt nots”.
Instead she taught something much more practical and remarkable.
When I was a child and my mother sent me outside, whether it be for work or for play, it was not unusual for her to say, “Don’t be afraid to get dirty. If you don’t get dirty you won’t have nearly as much fun.”
Forever after, I’ve never been afraid to “get dirt on me”. And I’ve never been afraid to take chances on people with “dirt” on them, either. In fact, it became a very big part of the way I teach and who I am.
As a teenager, Mom found me in my room one beautiful Saturday. I was reading the Bible. She said, “That’s nice,” and left. Two hours later she came back and found me with my nose still buried in scripture. She asked what I was doing. I told her I was trying to be good. Mom looked at me and said, “Nobody can truly BE good. That’s why we all need grace. Now put down your Bible and get out in the world and DO some good, instead.”
Mom taught me that real love and real religion were action verbs. She taught me to love God best by loving my fellow mortals. And she taught me to especially seek out and love those who already had a lot of “dirt” on them (knowing full well I’d get a lot of dirt on me, too, in such off-the-paved-road places as I would be prone to go).
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