(From the May, 21, 2001 Sip & Tell)
In a graduation letter to my nephew recently, I wrote of my mother, "Daisies bring the fragrance of her sweet and steady faith in the sovereignty of her Creator. "
I had never associated her love of her God with daisies, but I am certain I will never look at them the same. So often she seemed so fragile and fearful, but deep down, her faith that God was in control and had a plan was as pure as the white of the daisy’s petals.
I sometimes envied that blind, seemingly unquestioning, faith. I was always questioning everything. Why? But what about? Did you ever think of ____? How is that possible? On and on and on. Cliche answers like "because I said so" "God said so" " the Bible said so" were NOT effective answers, and in some ways pushed me deeper into my stubbornness and doubt.
Surely when I became a mom, I'd figure it out, right? Sadly no. We went to church, and I did the best I could to instill in my children some of the truth my family so beautifully instilled in me. But I fear I fell very short of the mark. If I have a regret, it is that I didn't effectively teach them to listen for that still small voice that guided my mother. The same that guides me...when I listen. It took me so long to learn to translate it for myself that my hope is they will see it in me NOW. Recognize how it has guided and brought me so much peace the last 10 years, and begin to seek out their own center when it comes to faith and the role it plays in their day to day lives.
My faith more likely resembles a rhinoceros than a daisy. It's raw, often crass, in its speculation. Constantly - incessantly - asking questions of the same sovereign creator my mom just rested in. Challenging the lack of common sense in modern religion. Demanding that scientific fact and faith align. Or at the very least not be at odds. I still find myself wishing that I could just say "because it says so in (insert Biblical reference)“ and that be sufficient. But alas, the foot stomping continues.
Blind trust brought my mom so much peace and stability. Answers bring me the same. It has only been in the last few years that leaps - steps really - into the unknown have been with closed eyes and belief that I would land on solid ground, on the right path. It has felt pretty powerful. Mom may have been onto something. LOL. It is incredible when by faith alone, those feet meet the path below.
Daisies now have a whole new aroma for me.
One of sweet, steady belief in the knowing that comes when it is time to move. As I look across the room at the daisies I brought with me today as my memory, I can literally hear my mother, sitting next to me on any given Sunday morning, singing "there’s a sweet, sweet spirit in the place..." Always one of my favorite memories of her.
Leave it to the Gaithers for decades of misty-eyed moments shared between both the rhinos and the daisies of faith.
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