April 07, 2011
My “Rock” has always been my mom, Kathy. Sheʼs the perfect example of a spiritual being having a human experience. All that I know and share with the world about love, courage, faith, compassion, kindness, fairness, perseverance and joy, Iʼve learned from watching her move through the world with grace and with love for the people she has met along her path in life.
Called to the ministry in the early ʻ70s, when women werenʼt “supposed” to be ministers, I watched as her pioneering spirit and loving heart helped to blaze a trail for other women who felt that God was calling them to the ministry as well. I saw her stand firm in her convictions and her faith as male ministers and many members of the churches she served did and said whatever they could to discourage her from continuing to serve God and the church.
Honoring her call to ministry, I saw the faces of so many elderly men and women light up as she entered their hospital rooms, close to death but knowing that a friend had just come through the door. Then I would watch as she held their hands and touched their faces and said a prayer for them as they gently slipped from this world to the next.
After she retired a few years ago, I watched as she followed her second calling as an artist. Sheʼs an accomplished painter, potter and published poet with a passion for creating digital art with her iPhone and her iPad. She creates stunningly beautiful and meaningful works of art with them and finds so much joy in working with kids and adults to show them how they too can use technology to discover their inner artist. Soon to be 72 years young, she has a thirst for life and learning that inspires me every day.
Mom has always been my most trusted resource for advice, except for the ten years after college when I though that I knew it all. I didnʼt seek her advice on several important life decisions and the decisions that I made extracted a heavy emotional price from me for many years thereafter.
Through all of my missteps, and as painful as it must have been for her to see me suffer, she never criticized me or judged me. She let me be me and she was there to love me and lend a hand when I needed her the most.
I would say that the act of allowing people to be who they are, without judgement or criticism is probably one of the most important things I have learned from my mom. The path that Iʼm on now is due primarily to the example she has set with her life for my entire life.
This interview is part of a series of interviews focusing on some of the great Rocks that have influenced our lives. Just as Tim's new Book, Today We Are Rich, shares what he learned from his rock, Billye, we want to pass on the knowledge of some other great rocks out there.
Rock on! Be a Rock, or applaud a Rock you know.