Friday, August 13, 2010

Precious Childhood Faith - MANN

This morning when I was dusting, I took time to lift the small white bible with its trail of silk red roses glued on a white silk ribbon. I had carried this as a wedding bouquet more than fifty years ago. I wouldn’t have thought that some people might have been critical of me being pious or religious. It just seemed right and proper to do and something that reflected who I was as a young teenage woman.

At this time, all my friends were talking about the flower sprays they were going to carry on their wedding day: one wanted a Posey, another a Nosegay, while my cousin wanted a sheaf across her arm.

I remember a friend saying, “Oh, Donna, you won’t have anything to throw. You have to throw your bouquet, you know. That’s tradition. What will you do? You can’t throw a Bible into the crowd.” Granted, she had a point there, but I wasn’t really thinking about tradition.

Another friend said, “It’s September, Donna. You’re having all fall colours for the bridesmaid dresses and their bouquets are browns and golds. You can hardly have red roses mixed in with that. It just doesn’t match with anything.” Okay, I even gave them that much – it sounded right. But, the colours red and white seemed perfect for my purposes and understanding about God and marriage. I stayed with my choice.

As a young farm girl who had never known any other church but the little white one on the back concession of the farm, I would have had a Sunday School understanding of the significance of the Bible and the roses, yet, even in my early faith development, I was passionately aware that it was important. I have come to believe as I write my memoirs and read my mother’s school journals that early faith positions are sometimes more theologically steeped in God’s will and reason than some understandings we gain as adults.

In many ways, my faith was as strong and confident as it is today. I am amazed as I encourage people to think back to what they might see as a dormant time in their life, and they discover that God was busy tilling the ground of faith for further growth. Folks, for the most part, work away faithfully at developing their faith. And sometimes the seedtime is equally as important as the harvest.

The first question in the study guide of The Emmaus Series (2006) is, “What are some of the things that shaped your childhood faith?” As I apply that question to my life, the Bible and roses make a clear statement.

Donna Mann


Peter Black said...

Donna, I expect this article will resonate with your lady readers; however, it resonated deeply with me in a heartwarming, as well as theological, way. Ah, yes there must be a seedtime for there to ever be a harvest!
Thank you.

Donna Mann said...

Thanks Peter. Childhood is such a special time of faith development, isn't it? I like to walk down that memory lane and to be reminded that God was already at work . . . away back then.

Popular Posts