I don’t think there was ever any question in my mind or the minds of my siblings that my parents weren’t believing people. As young children and adolescents we were taken to Sunday School and church at Maryland Presbyterian where my parents were charter members in our hometown of Towson. It is one of several churches our family’s five generation construction company built.
Sitting around the family table, sometimes we said “Grace” and sometimes we didn’t. At bedtime sometimes we said our prayers and sometimes we didn’t. But, it was very clear to me that other members of our church “family” were very important to my parents as support in their child-raising years and getting through difficult times. In several chapters of my award-winning memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,” I wrote more about the subject of faith.
When I recently visited my new granddaughter, Charlotte, she had a few rough moments throughout each day, as all children do. I’d pick her up and try to soothe her. During those times I thought perhaps I might just be in heaven as she laid her head on my chest when I sang songs that were sung to me as a child which I in turn sang to my son when I was raising him. Each time, Charlotte stopped crying, became instantly still and silent for long periods of time as I sang the words of “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know,” over and over again, in my oh so out-of-tune voice.
Passing on one’s faith to the next generation can be as simple a gesture as that. As a mother, I felt it was my obligation to share my “rootedness in faith,” and now as a grandmother. I know in my own life, it has given me a sure and strong foundation. When times are rough I look to my faith for comfort.