By Rev. Jeanne Randall-Bodman, Pastor
February 8, 2023
I have been thinking a lot lately about the backstories of our lives, the often unexamined stories of our ancestors that have brought us to where we are today. As many of us do, I’ve gotten curious about my family history whenever we’ve lost someone from our older generation. I have a vivid memory from the time when my siblings and I were clearing out our childhood home. I found a whole trove of letters written to and from my maternal grandfather – exchanges with his parents, siblings, and the sweetheart who eventually became his wife. I felt a sense of dislocation as I said to my sister “we come from really pious people.” She found my surprise hilarious -- “Really, Reverend ?”
But I was surprised.
I grew up in a church-going family, but I wouldn’t have described us as especially pious. But I wondered if the piety that was so clear to me in the letters had informed our family life in ways that I couldn’t see from the inside. If that piety and faithfulness of those ancestors had given me a bedrock. If it had perhaps also kept me from questioning too vigorously what I had been taught.