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My Mother’s Knees

When I was growing up, I thought there was nothing uglier than my mother’s knees.  She was beautiful as a whole.  I always thought she was the prettiest face in our church.  But her knees, well that was another story.  Let me try to describe them.  First, they were flat. Yes flat! Missing that natural curve that most humans take for granted.  Then, well imagine the most chafed elbows in the world and you get the picture.  I would wonder how someone so beautiful had such ugly knees.  After she died, I realized how incredibly beautiful her knees were.  Not in a nostalgic sort of way, missing what you don’t have, but in realizing the why.  

My mom as you have probably read in my other posts was a great woman.  She raised 9 kids and countless cousins, neighbors and people she would just take in.  She raised us all to know and love God.  More importantly she taught us of God’s love by being love.  Yes, I was a really blessed kid, and I don’t think I realized it.  Everyone growing up thinks their lives are the same as everyone else’s. As I grew up, I began to realize that everyone gravitated to my mom.  Even my teenage cousins who wanted nothing to do with their parents could always be found hanging out in the kitchen with her.  She was love in action.

Let’s get back to those knees.  In my childish assumptions I had no way to guess that only something worn down from constant use could become so flat and chaffed.  Her knees had become that way from kneeling in constant prayer.  Those knees were a badge of honor, if only I had known it.   It was that constant prayer time that gave her the strength to raise all us kids.  It was her consistent time with God that gave her the hope to know that we would be all ok in the end.  No matter the crazy things that my siblings and I did she would always be at peace.  A peace that came from knowing that in the end God is in all things and when we say “Thy will be done” we can trust that His will is in our benefit.

I can imagine the hours of prayer that caused flat knees.  I know for certain that her prayers saved me from a lot of grief in my life. I know that my quick whispered prayers given only here and there were not the reason my life turned out as it did.  My mom prayed for all of us and God answered and is still answering.  

In her last months she could no longer kneel.  She would lay in the hospital bed we had set up in a spare bedroom and you guessed it – pray!  Her rosary was her constant companion.  I asked her once if she was praying for her healing.  She replied that she had enough people praying for that, she was praying for us.  Yes, I am the most loved of daughters.  After her passing I got to see her bible.  This lovingly worn testament of faith had prayers or names written onto the edges of many pages.  Each prayer or name was tagged to a biblical promise.  I know that Jesus listened to each one of those prayers and they were answered in her lifetime or after.

Oh, if I could only be like my mom!  Trusting everything to God’s loving mercy.  Being peaceful in the storm and joyful regardless of the circumstances. The 3 pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  Over what’s left of the next 40 days let’s strive to become prayer warriors.  Knowing that God listens, and He answers.  Being patient in the waiting and rejoicing always in His faithfulness.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.- Philippians 4:6