Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3 NIV)
This coming Sunday (the 20th) will mark 21 years that my mother passed from this life into eternity. She had a profound influence on my life, as did (and still does) my father, but there was something about mom’s love for Jesus and His Word that rubbed off on me. She read the word to me at night, taught me the stories of the gospels and made them come alive inside me. Looking back it was the very simple and energetic way she told the stories that made it real – even more so than the words on the page.
Why was this? I believe it was because the word of God had come alive in her and it just naturally came out that way. It worked. From my earliest memory, the Word has been inside of me and I never grow weary of its content. I can only hope that my 5 children will see that inside of me and that it rubs off on them.
But it goes even deeper. Mom had attained an intimacy with God in her last 4 years that still boggles my mind. From the moment she was diagnosed with cancer she pressed into God like a woman possessed and it wasn’t an attempt to manipulate God into a miracle. She wanted to know Him. She grabbed onto Jesus’ definition of eternal life here in John 17:3 and never looked back. I’ll never forget coming home and seeing her at the kitchen table with her wide margin Dake’s Study Bible, listening to one of her hundreds of Charles Stanley cassettes (she taped him off the radio every day), making notes and in some cases staring out the window with a look that said “All I want is Him.”
Other times I would peer through the crack in the bedroom door and see her on her knees crying out to her Creator, praying over and over again “I want to know you.” The weekend before she died she had a distant look in her eye and she seemed aloof, not wanting to converse. Looking back it’s obvious that she was preparing for a transition and wanting to make it easier for herself (and for us).
The morning of Jan 20, 1992 at about 4:30 in the morning she made the transition. What she had come to know in this life – a relationship with the Creator of the Universe and His Son – became an even deeper reality in the life to come. I can only imagine what she’s experienced these last 21 years.
I miss her.
Yet, her legacy lives in me. A love for the written word is in me, but a love for the Word who became flesh and dwelled among us is even greater. Mom, if you can supernaturally read this: Thanks for imparting this to me. Can’t wait to see you someday.
Jonathan (Because you would never call me Jon)