By Lucy Johnson
My mother passed away two years ago at the age of 98. I was privileged to be the only one of seven siblings to be with her at the end – a gift I will always treasure. All seven of us live more than a five hour drive from the nursing home in our hometown. During the nine months before Mom died, we had rushed home at least three times thinking that “this was the end” only to meet her playing bingo or eating breakfast. So the last time the call went out, I assured my siblings that I would make the drive, assess the situation and let them know. This time, the call was for real and the assessment was too late for the others to come. Mom lived a vibrant life up to the end. She had a strong faith and trust in God.
It was a joy to visit her. While she always knew who we were, there were other things that she had forgotten. Often she’d ask, “Lucy, what kind of work do you do?” and I would answer, “I’m a pharmacist, Mom”. Her reply, “Oh, a pharmacist, I didn’t know that. That’s good.” At first, I would protest, “Um Mom, you did know that, as you helped pay for my schooling.” But, as conversations like this would repeat, I would learn to let it go and smile. Perhaps, I was beginning to accept that she was aging.
Today when someone tells me something and I say “Oh, I didn’t know that,” I think of my mother. Then I pause and ponder, had I known it and forgotten like mom, or did I truly not know it? What about my faith life? Sometimes, I learn something new that I didn’t know. Perhaps I had been exposed to it before, but I wasn’t paying attention. What does it mean to truly know something? Knowledge comes from God. However, we can still miss the message if we aren’t open to the revelation.
Take John 3:16 for example. How many times have we seen this on a sign at a sporting event or in a public arena? Do we know that John 3:16 is God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life – WOW! Is it something that we knew and forgot, or are we now paying more attention? Perhaps the message is received differently and/or my knowledge of it has changed. God has opened my eyes to a new kind of understanding.
Another example for me is nestled in the Trinity. Today is Trinity Sunday. A few years ago when I was in a Bible study, the topic was about the passage whoever asks in My Name, receives. I thought, but when do I ever pray in the Name of the Father? Then the light bulb went off—whenever I make the Sign of the Cross. Although I learned the Sign of the Cross when I was young, I didn’t truly understand its meaning until I was much older. Was it something I knew and forgot or something I didn’t truly know? In either case, I am more intentional when I make this Sign recognizing that the prayer request that follows is asking in God’s name.
Seeing…hearing…knowing… God will reveal His knowledge to us in due time. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Take time today to reflect on the Scriptures, to truly learn and understand them, not just to know them.
About the Author:
Lucy Johnson lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband, Jeff. She has 7 children, and soon to be 7 grandchildren. Past-President of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. (ACCW 2013-2015), Pharmacist, A “Martha” working on her “Mary”.