‘I hate it....’
Every Sunday morning we went to church. And every Sunday morning, the normal routine would go
like this: Mom would blast the TV right at 8 in the morning with the sound of the French horn of CBS’
s ‘Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt’. This would be our alarm for us to get up and eat breakfast.
After breakfast, we would get ready for church. At church, we would go to Sunday school first then
into the sanctuary where we would fellowship for a few minutes. After the fellowship we would sit,
pick up the hymnal songbook and sing a couple of songs. After the songs and announcements
were over, my mom would then go into her normal gut wrenching routine.
She would clutch tightly into her Navajo gospel song book, exposing every strained blood vessels
in her hands. Her face would stiffen up as she stared intensely towards the front. Her skin under
her chin would tighten up as she grinded her teeth together. And then with a big inhale, she would
hold her breath until she would hear the frightful words from the Pastor…’Sister Yazzie, can come
up and sing a song for us in Navajo?’. Then in one long exhale, her body would become relaxed
and she would sigh for a moment. Every Sunday this was expected and I have always dreaded
seeing my mom in this state of anguish. Until one Sunday....... my perspective changed.
It was warm peaceful Sunday morning when my mom and I drove to the all Anglo church at the edge
of town in our old 72’ Ford pick-up truck. I must have been a teenager, since we went in the pickup.
Oh how I use to love driving that old pick-up truck with the stick shift, building up my arms while
turning the steering wheel and timing the clutch and gas pedals just right, so that the truck didn't
jump or stall. If we had taken the car, which was a chevy, I may have not gone to church that
morning. I’m kidding.......... I respected my mom way too much to miss church. Even though when it
meant that I knew all the answers to life and I needed no religion at the right-old-mature age of 16.
We arrived at the church and the routine started: Sunday school, fellowship, worship, gut
wrenching routine and the calling of my mom to sing. Well, this certain Sunday morning, I do not
remember the song she sang nor do I remember the sermon that was preached, but what I do
remember is what happened after church.
We both sat quietly in the truck as I drove the truck back home. Then my mom broke the silence
and spoke these words ‘I hate it when he does that!......I hate it when he asks me to sing!’........ I
hate it!’. I didn't know what to think. I was surprised! My mom and I never really talk about anything.
I had to say something, because at 16, knowing everything also meant that I was psychologically
inclined. So, I replied back, ‘Then why do you do it?’ She clinched her fist then she said these
words. Words to this day that still echo in my mind. ‘Because I love him.........because I love him so
much, I will do anything for him......…because I love him so much, I will get up there and sing…......
Because I love him…..Because I love him’.
My mom loved God soo much that she overcame her fears to please God. You see, my mom was
very, very, very shy and dreadfully feared being in front of people - especially non-Natives, but
what she feared more than anything else was - God. Not the kind of fear that sinks your heart into
despair, but the kind of fear that Honors God -The fear of the Lord. She knew how to fear God and I
thank God for that. I am also thankful that my mom was able to share this moment with me because
our communication between us was almost nonexistence. I will always cherish this moment.
Now I am going to ask you...................How much do you love God?
'For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.'
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV