I dedicated my most recent book, The Curious Christian, to my mom. Of all the influences on my own curiosity she was the greatest during my formative years. She taught, exemplified, and modeled it.
On this Mother’s Day weekend I share that dedication with you in honor of her.
For my mother.
I remember lying on top of the luggage in the back of our Chevy Caprice “Woody” Station Wagon on the endless drive from Minnesota to Georgia and listening to you read adventure stories loud enough for me to hear all the way in the back and reading so well I forgot how bored I was.
I remember sitting in the kitchen while you made dinner and listening to Fresh Air on NPR over the sounds of my growling stomach. I never knew what was happening, but I knew it was important.
I remember the soothing tones of Garrison Keilor’s voice and the quirky, dry humor of Lake Wobegon as you listened to the Prairie Home Companion.
I remember you helping me with science and history projects and being much more enthralled with the topics (especially history) than I was.
I remember shelf upon shelf of mysteries by Agatha Christie, P.D. James, and others. And what says curiosity like a love of mystery?
I remember you giving me a chance to do the things I loved and invest in my interests even when it meant freezing your toes off at snowy November football games or weekly trips to the Franklin Library during the summer.
I remember how you read all the plaques at museums and Civil War battle fields. It was so bored. Now I bore my own children.
I remember you making a home for over thirty years in the same, diverse, sometimes rough, never boring, Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis and showing me how to love its numerous people and cultures .
I remember your love of learning and travel and your insatiable desire to understand and discover. You asked so many questions!
I remember you teaching – teaching me, teaching my siblings, teaching at church, teaching about God’s Word, about history, about literature, about culture.
Now I hope that you can pull this book from your expertly packed carry-on as you sit on a 747 destined for Taiwan, Sweden, New Zealand, or Zambia. I hope you can see how your curiosity, your investment, your example has shaped me and fed these pages. I wrote the words, but so many of the ideas are yours.