Tail Lights in the Fog

>> August 21, 2010

And the older shall teach the young... mentor-ship.

Recently, I've remembered individuals that molded me by being unofficial mentors. Especially in my crucial Junior High years.

I fondly remember Lorna Lindemood and Rosemary Peterson. Two single women that took turns taking me out on Saturday door-to-door visits to see who was going to ride the Sunday School bus. Our church had  a large bus-ministry and through their examples I learned compassion for the often neglected children. the McDonald's cheeseburgers and ice cream cones were a nice treat for me, too.

Steve and Carolyn Lazurri
Carolyn Lazzuri, my Jr High youth Pastor's wife, was the first person I remember to actually tell me she loved me. I remember confiding in her that I felt the tug of God calling me into ministry and didn't know how to be sure it was God. Even when she moved away, I wrote letters, was allowed to call long distance (that was a big deal back in the day), and even rode the Greyhound bus to travel seven hours to spend time with her. She even had me stand side-by-side with her in the kitchen teaching me various cooking tips. Many, many years of valuable mentoring.

John & Paula Hoole
Then there's Paula Hoole. What an extraordinary Jr High girl's Sunday School teacher. I learned more in the year of her class than I had in all my years of church training. Sunday School was no longer routine or boring to a church brat like me. I loved her style and  method of teaching. She used to be invited to other churches to share her teaching tips and often took me with her. (even though I was slightly naughty in class from time-to-time). She'd "interview" me as part of her presentation. A live, chubby, tom-boy prop. : ) As a senior in high school, on the cusp of youth/adulthood, Paula must have seen a restlessness in me and invited me to be her assistant in the 7th grade girls class. I remember singing "I Wish We'd all Been Ready" for the class after she taught on the rapture.

When I was a newlywed, Paula and her husband (John) started a  Sunday School class for young marrieds. There she continued to mentor me and I continued to be mildly naughty. And numerous times throughout my adult life I've contacted her for advice and further mentoring.

I'm so blessed to have been unofficially, yet intentionally mentored by all these women, who took the two small verses in Titus 2 very serious:

Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior. Titus 2:3-4 The Message
The other day I was reading The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin. In one chapter she refers to the mentor relationship. She used the illustration of following a car's tail lights in the fog. The lead car is struggling to see the road, but their tail lights make it easier for the one coming up behind them.

You don't have to have it all figured out to be a mentor. No need to have all the answers at your finger tips. You just need to let others see your tail lights as you traverse the roads ahead of them. Once in awhile you may even need to tap the brakes so your lights can be seen a bit more.

I'm extremely thankful to the women that let me see their tail lights in the fog.

Did you have an unofficial, yet intentional, mentor in your life? Do you see times when maybe you were the mentor unaware?

I'd love to hear your story. Leave a comment or email me at mari.lavell@gmail.com 

3 comments so far...Care to leave your thoughts?:

Laury 8/21/2010  

I love the analogy of the tail lights. It's so true. I had a pastor's wife that I looked up to when I was young. So much so that I picked up her lisp just to be more like her:) I was in speech class for awhile. lol. I'm grateful for the older women that have poured themselves into me.

Lisa Mikitarian 8/23/2010  

Great post--it's something I feel passionate about, too. I worry that women don't have time for mentoring girls and young women, anymore--and that would be a real shame.

LauraLee Shaw 8/27/2010  

How WEIRD! The article I submitted for the cafe next month is on mentoring! Cool! Yes, like you, I would not be the same woman today without godly christian people who mentored me in my youth. Even in my adulthood, I can point to many different types of mentors. Now it is rewarding to mentor others myself. I'm so thankful for all those along the way who helped me see Jesus more clearly.

Awesome post!

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