Memories of Mom

Mother’s Day found me remembering my mom, Magdalene Amstutz Faulkner. She was fine musician and a college music teacher. She had high standards for herself and she held her students to those same standards. “Trifles make perfection,” she would say, “and perfection is no trifle.”

Many were the nights I went to bed as a boy hearing her playing the piano, the music of the world’s great composers. She sought to achieve excellence in piano performance in the same way as her hero, J.S. Bach, pursued it, for God’s glory alone.

She worked hard at piano performance. Occasionally there were classical music recitals at the college in which she would perform.  She also composed arrangements of familiar hymns which she would be called upon to play for church meetings.

Mom loved the Bible and she read it daily. She read through the entire Bible many times. She taught a ladies’ Sunday school class for many years. As any good teacher knows, she learned and grew herself by studying the word of God in preparation for teaching.

When I was young, my mother reminded me regularly to read the Bible for myself. She and Dad sought to have a time of family devotions every day in which they read the Bible and prayed with my brothers and me.

Mother was a “world Christian” long before that term was coined by missiologists. She cared deeply about the worldwide expansion of the gospel. She loved and prayed for missionaries whom she knew, especially her two brothers. She followed a regular system of praying for different regions of the world on different days of the week.

She was unflappable. When my brothers and I were worked up about something, she would remain calm and even-tempered. She would respond with, “Rave on. You don’t worry me a bit!” Her gentle disposition was one of the qualities I admired about her.

She valued books. She was never without a book she was reading. If she had a chance, she would tell us about something she had read in a book of history, or a little-known fact she had discovered from reading a biography. She was a lifelong learner.

She was approachable. I always felt I could talk to my mom about what was going on in my world and in the world at large. She would respond with wisdom, humility and good sense. I do not remember her having much interest in reading the newspaper, and I know she did not watch tv news very often. But somehow she  was aware of trends and people in politics, and she shared her views when she was asked about them.

I regularly thank God for my mother and her example to me.

Pastor Randy Faulkner