Today is Mother’s Day…for each of us. Saw the grocery aisles were almost stuffed with guys and their kids, choosing flowers and cards. Never too late is my thought. Lots of smiles. Lots.
Then I read this MSN.COM article about a professor and an 8-month old girl. The girl’s mother wanted to obtain a college degree, that included physics. The professor had extra sessions. The mother was unable to attend the class. The professor said to bring her. The rest, to me and hopefully to you [please read the link] brings value and warmth this day.
Triggered a very special gesture for my final seminary examination at YDS. Paul Holmer was a great teacher and valued friend. I told him I would like to return to Portland before his exam because my future mother-in-law was dying of multiple cancer. He asked me to come to his office the next morning, a week in advance of the scheduled exam.
Mr. Holmer [who agreed to preach at my Installation Service in July of 1966 at St. Pauls Church], smoked his pipe. I think that was mantra for the tweed-coated with leather sleeved professors! He asked me what I thought of HIS Minnesota Twins, if I thought they had a chance. He knew one of my options, short of ordination, was to sign a baseball contract with either the Pirates or Dodgers—the pitching pulpit won. We visited a while.
He then said, “Okay, here’s the exam. Tell me what you learned in my class this semester.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
WHAT A GREAT QUESTION.
I LOVED HIS CLASS AND TALKED AWAY. He smiled and puffed his pipe, took no notes. When I thought I had mentioned the highlights for me…that is the theologians who could link into my pastoral ministry, he smiled, got up, gave me a hug. “Be safe, Mark. See you in a month in Chicago. I’ll try to preach well. I will.”
Tears come now…52 years later. Mr. Holmer? God rest your soul. And know. You bring me value even now because I know the difference between the language about religion and the language of religion. Yes, I do. Life needs to be always speaking and living the language of religion.
My closing comment, remembering Mother’s Day and how to make it helpful to everyone. In the worship service, more specifically in the sermon, I lifted up those women in the congregation who were either unable to birth children or had never been married or had miscarried and being a mother was not an option now. I didn’t want them to feel second-class. For each of them is a child of God. A child of God.
Now, the link…to me a Mother’s Day link. Hope it helps you….