I Wouldn't Lie to You.....

Rita Richardson

Posted on May 04 2019

When I was kicking around the idea of starting FashionxFaith I thought long and hard, "Do we really need another girls clothing company in the world?" It wasn't like children in America were running around naked. They had clothes. So what exactly was the point?"

What could we offer that could make a difference?

Then one morning, after listening to the headlines on the news, which thoroughly depressed me, it struck me, "If I hear this stuff and want to just pull the covers over my head, how are kids hopeful about their future?"

I started thinking....maybe we could make clothes that had a message of faith. Instead of just fantasy or sports these clothes would speak to the JOY of Christianity. The hope, the tolerance, the truth of Christ's message. All the good stuff.  Then that would be a point of difference.

During that time I was especially weary of how much the truth was taking a beating. That good people were willing to set aside honesty for their idea of a greater good. That maybe this was just destiny and there really wasn't anything we could do about it.

I remembered a profound moment in my life when I was about 8. My father had died two years earlier and my mom was just starting to come out of the fog she'd been living in. She was in our kitchen, staring out the window, and for some reason I thought that was the perfect moment to find out exactly where I stood in her world.

So I cozied up beside her and asked, "Who do you love more:   God or me"?

I was sure of her answer.

My mom was a lioness. There was never a question that she'd take a bullet for one of her kids, stand in front of a train to save us, or even take on the occasional teacher or coach that she thought had been unfair. She didn't think twice about what people might think. These were HER children and to get to them you'd have to get past her first which rarely, if ever, got tested.

As I look back at that moment I want to throw up my hands and shout at that 8 year old girl, "Never ask a question you're not 100% sure of the answer--every rerun of Perry Mason should have taught you that!!"

It was too late--the question was out there--waiting for an answer.

Without even mulling over how to answer or the effect the answer might have she said "I love God the most and then you".

I don't remember this but I picture me grabbing the counter with both hands to steady myself from falling backwards. "What had she just said?" "Did I hear that right? I wasn't the most important thing in her life"?

To some people that might sound cruel. Dr. Phil might even say it's unsettling to allow your kids to question your love for them. But that's not what it was about. I never doubted once that my mom loved me. It was about honesty.

My mom was smart and she knew that her truth was going to sting and possibly leave a mark. It did. Putting God at the center of her life meant that He would be linked to all her other relationships. She wasn't going to make a move without Him and she needed to make sure I knew and understood that fact. If I was old enough to ask the question then I was old enough to hear with the answer.

My mother believed in a greater good. She knew that telling the truth, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient, was always the right thing to do.

It was in that spirit that we opened our Christmas presents on Christmas Eve so there was never a question if Santa Claus was real. She wasn't going to lie. Period. No Easter Bunny. No Tooth Fairy.

It makes me laugh to think about the lengths she went to. A little make-believe never hurt anyone, right?? In her mind the stakes were too high to give an inch. She wasn't going to be responsible for the five lives she brought into the world not valuing truth.

I can't say I've come close to her high standards. I'm ashamed at the number of times I've failed her but I've never believed that Truth was too difficult--just that I was too weak. Everyday, I pray that I do better. I should want to do what's right because I'm a Christian but partly I want to do it for her. If I'm honest.


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