Chuck Swindoll observes, "Several years ago someone interviewed the contemporary artist Marc Chagall for a PBS program. The young, arty interviewer started the session with a question about influences. His question was very long and involved and exhibited his own learning along the way, giving everybody, including Chagall, a lecture on the nature of influences on the artist. When the young man finally gave the artist a chance to answer for himself, Chagall said, in the simplest way, that his greatest influence was his mother. It took the poor young man a bit of time to get his bearings after that.

"I know of no more permanent imprint on a life than the one made by mothers. . . . There would never have been an Isaac without a Sarah, a Moses without a Jochebed, a Samuel without a Hannah, a John without an Elizabeth, a Timothy without a Eunice, or a John Mark without a Mary.

"A mother's influence is so great that we model it even when we don't realize it, and we return to it-often to the surprise of others." (Dallas Seminary Daily Devotional, 5-18-04)