Roots


My father and mother sit astride his tractor on their land in Oroville, Calif. Circa early 90s.
My father and mother sit astride his tractor on their land in Oroville, Calif. Circa early 90s.

I’ve been thinking about my mother.

I’ve worked in one way or another for the Seventh-day Adventist Church since 1975. I’ve been a university professor, book, magazine, and newspaper editor, published author and public relations professional in that time. I am pleased to say that my words and my actions have had a positive influence on students and readers on many occasions.

But it all started with my mother. I was baptized into the SDA church twice, I am told. Once when I chose to at age 12, but earlier when my mother was pregnant with me. She and I were baptized together, so to speak. And in that sense, it doesn’t start with her. Because she became a Seventh-day Adventist Christian because of my uncle, Alan Leeds, who influenced several people in the Haynes family (her maiden name). And I am sure that if I research him, I will find his roots go back even farther.

As I was sitting in church by myself this morning, listening to the sermon, I thought about my mother, and those who came before her. And I am grateful, not just because she led me to be a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. But also because she taught me to think for myself, to do what’s right, regardless of consequences, to be kind to others and to be grateful for every small blessing that came my way.

I talk a lot about my father, and he had a significant impact on my life. But my mother was the spiritual anchor of our family.

She’s gone now, resting until Jesus returns. And yet what she did continues on and on.

 

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