It is no exaggeration to say that this dear woman's example is a very big reason I entered the seminary and am now serving the Lutheran Church as a pastor. And yet, we are two different Lutherans. My Grandma's church in the the greater Ft. Wayne area, so they always have field workers. I learned a lot from my Grandma about field work. She always told me while in seminary who important it was to make sure my alb was straight and ironed, how important it was not to talk to quietly or too loudly, how important it was to be polite to the old ladies in my congregation in St. Louis. She still tells me her opinions of the field workers. But I find that some of the things she finds odd and even questionable are things I do every day. For example. she has noticed more and more how these seminarians are always crossing themselves. How they bow all the time and walk around with their hands folded. It really made me realize that the things I do out of respect and a healthy piety can be objectionable, if not outright offensive to some of the pillars of the faith. Now, that does not mean that we should chuck all these "high-church" pious and reverent gestures, but it has made me very sensitive to the needs of people like my grandma: faithful men and women who have lived in their faith, who know more about being and living as a Lutheran than I do, people whose faith is firmly rooted in the gifts of God's Word and Sacrament.
They don't understand why us youngsters are so anxious to look "Roman," and why should they? They were taught by well-meaning, and perhaps some not-so-well-meaning, pastors that some things are just not for Lutherans. So, in my own congregation I continue to boldly live my own rather catholic Lutheran faith, but I try to keep in mind Romans 14 and remember that I am the weaker brother to my dear Grandma Marian:
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel
over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak
person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who
abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who
eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant
of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will
be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.