“For the Word of God is alive and active. ” Hebrews 4:12

It was a Thursday morning and I was in the middle of work when the phone rang.  It was my sister calling out of the blue. Our mother’s health had suddenly deteriorated and my sister wanted to know if I wanted to go see her.  I hadn’t talked to my mother in years.

Well, there was a brief and difficult conversation we’d had several months before.  The Holy Spirit had nudged me a number of times over the course of a couple of weeks to call my mother.  What if she didn’t want to hear from me?  What if she didn’t know who I was?  He kept nudging so I gathered up the courage one day and called her.  She knew who I was but didn’t understand everything I was saying. I was able to tell her I loved her, and she told me she loved me, too.  That was basically the extent of the conversation. But God knew I needed to both say it and hear it, and so did she.

I told my sister I’d think about it for a few minutes and call her back.

I grabbed my Bible, walked away from my desk, sat down, and prayed.

What if she didn’t want to see me?  What about work? What about the appointment I have scheduled this afternoon? And what about all those vacant years of not having her there, of not having a mother?  Do I go see her after all that?

I opened my Bible, to what I didn’t know. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. I didn’t have time and my thoughts were swirling. I just wanted to hear from the Lord. The pages fell and I started reading.  One column…and another…and another.  I looked up, asking the Lord again, “What do I do?”

And suddenly it came to me – this is not about me.  This is about her.  All she had in the world, besides the nurses and other residents, was my sister and me.  If I were dying I’d want my sons there, and I knew our mother would want both of us there, too.

I called my sister back and we went.  I sat with my mother for hours as we looked each other in the eyes in a way we never had. Because of Jesus, I was now able to look at her through eyes of grace. Her words were harder to understand now, but I smiled at her and she smiled back. We hugged goodbye and again said “I love you.”

I was able to visit her a few more times in the month after that.  The communication became less and less until that last time when she couldn’t open her eyes or speak at all.

They say the hearing is the last thing to go.

I’m thankful that one of the last things she heard were her two daughters, talking and reminiscing and laughing. I pray that brought her joy.

I know I wouldn’t have gone to see my mother had I not taken the time to sit with Jesus and read His Word. There was nothing specific in my Bible reading that morning that had to do with what He ministered to my heart – that the visit was not about me, but about being there for my mother.  Still, reading it somehow opened a conduit for me to hear what He wanted to say to me. I don’t fully understand it, but His Word really is active and alive.

My mother died exactly one month to the day after that first call from my sister.  Because I prayed and opened His Word, God gave me the gift of one month of good memories with my mother.  I know they were good memories for her, too, and she deserved that.

We don’t have much time these days.  We’re all so busy that finding quiet time seems impossible, and it may seem like there’s just not enough time to read. The thing is, we don’t have time not to read God’s living Word. 

Reading His Word is not just about reading another book.  As Christians, it is our breath, our life.  It is the primary way God’s chosen to let us hear His heart beating and to hear His whispers of love and wisdom. With it He will give us answers to questions that come out of the blue, and make sure we don’t miss something wonderful.  He will make us a light shining for a dark world, and for someone whose days are dimming. 

He will reveal Himself, come near, and our hearts will beat as one.