Monday, July 18, 2005
While shopping at Nordstrom Rack last weekend my two sisters began a campaign to find a motto. Not for a business. Just for them. Since it wasn’t for any real enterprise they figured it could be co-opted from a legitimate source and employed for reckless and meaningless self-promotion. The first potential slogan catching their eye was for Nike socks, “appealing exterior-inner strength”.
What kind of family produces sisters who seek mottos?
It became clear to me when we were all together the same weekend to celebrate the wedding of Deborah’s daughter, Emilie Shepherd, to Dale Rohrbach. The minister, Mark Frost said, "Someday Emilie will be raising little Rohrbachs. And someday Dale will be raising little eccentrics."
I think eccentric families seek mottos.
While having breakfast yesterday at Panera Bread Company, Kim discovered the coffee flavors there provided two phrases, either of which might be a fitting motto. She saw potential in “bright and balanced” as well as “dark and vibrant.”
It’s agreed that that “fair and balanced” cannot be a motto. It has already been co-opted.
What kind of sisters do I have that would continue the motto search?
Kim’s a sister that yesterday stopped all of her activities to call and tell me she saw a bumper sticker that read SOMEONE ELSE FOR PRESIDENT. Then, she laughed really hard when I repeated jokes I heard on a Prairie Home Companion rerun. Jokes like, “Hey, John Kerry—what’s with the long face?” Next, she told me all about her Sunday school class in which a graduate theology student from Emory student explained why the ten commandments should not be co-opted by politicians and made out to be a mere public historical document, because the commandments are by their very nature sacred.
Kim’s a person who works hard all of the time to care for her family, to do a good job in her career as a librarian, and to serve the poor. For a couple of years now she has coordinated the COW, Clothes on Wheels, Northlake Church of Christ's clothing ministry serving poor Atlantans.
Deb’s a sister who would find a piece of Victorian crazy quilt embroidered and assembled by our full-blood Chippewa grandmother, have it framed, and then wrap it up and give it to me for Christmas.
Deb’s a person who works hard all of the time to care for her family, to do a good job in her career as a librarian, and to serve the poor. For a dozen years now she has coordinated S.O.S., South Oakland Shelter, Troy Church of Christ's annual one week immersion in homeless ministry serving Oakland County, Michigan. This year's SOS week at Troy Church of Christ began on the Sunday following Emilie's wedding. Never a dull moment for Deb.
Along with hundreds of other books, Kim and Deb read Tolkein, Lewis, and Rowling and tons of the King Arthur stories from the Mists of Avalon to the Crystal Cave.
They embrace the power of story and joyfully believe, as Lewis did, that there is one great Story that is the True Story.They attempt to live out the Story from day to day with grace, guts and passion.
In my life they shine like the son, radiating hope, and inspiring faith.
I don’t think there’s motto adequate to capture their essence, but just for today, it’s a toss up between "dark and vibrant" and "bright and balanced."