Thursday, June 28, 2012
Roberta Staib was not a pushy woman. I would be hard-pressed to find someone who would have ever used that term to describe her. This included matters of her faith. She was a firm believer. Firm. HOWEVER - she respected the faith of others as well. I knew that she had heard of a new faith practice when I would find her reading volumes about it. Her thought was that education leads to clarity, period. If you meet someone who had beliefs outside of your own, then read. Read as much and as often as you can about that belief, so that you can a) engage in actual, respectful dialog b) not be a jerk.
She was a Christian. Not in the 'we must absolutely adhere to every single ritual that some guys dictated in the 1500's' but a CHRISTIAN in the truest sense of the word. Here is why I can say this with certainty:
1) We always had a place at the table for those in need. And not just those who owned less then we did, but for the people who were lonely, or far from home. Many nights I would come home from high school and there would be a room full of sailors that my brother had brought home from boot camp; their homes were too far and they all just wanted a good, home cooked meal.
2) She may have disapproved of certain lifestyles, but she never disapproved of PEOPLE. Everyone deserves a kind conversation. The one exception: if you hurt children, you were not welcome in her life. Period.
3) She talked about Jesus like he was God. :) (that was meant to be funny, and JC is good with it. I checked.) When she shared her translation of Jesus from her bible, it was the Jesus who loved little kids, his mama, the destitute, the underserved, the population of people who's hearts ache continuously. The cruel, harsh watchdog that some people like to showcase as god never made it in her house. Her, and therefore our, God loved everyone and just really wanted them to behave.
4) I never heard her say anything mean about anyone. There were people that acted poorly in her life, believe me. But she never lashed out, not that I ever saw or heard.
5) Children mattered, so did women. She got that right from the New Testament. If someone tells you otherwise, she told me, they are not Christian people. They are probably not even nice people. Avoid them at all costs, pure and simple.
So that's it, to me. That is a true witness of what God is, and what God means to me. To her, to me and hopefully to my children, God = Love. Period.