“I am reminded of your sincere faith,
a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice
and now, I am sure, lives in you.” – 2 Timothy 1:5
What might Timothy write of the gift he received from his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois?
Let’s imagine Timothy’s mother Eunice reading a letter that arrives from Timothy from Ephesus:
How are things at home in Lystra? I wish I could be home for my birthday. I know how much you love to have me near on these family celebrations. But I am far away, traveling these days with Paul and tonight it is my turn to preach. But first, a few words to you.
When I woke this morning the first thing I remembered was you telling me the story of the day I was born. Did a year ever pass that you didn’t tell me this story, and I loved hearing it. As a small boy, I would roll up my tunic and bare my belly while you traced the size I was on the day I was born. I love this memory.
Did I ever tell you that when I was six years old, I heard you chant King David’s prayer on my birthday? The words fell in my heart.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.” (Psalm 139)
These words served me well whenever I felt different or insecure in my teenage years, and especially when I first travelled with Paul and Barnabus and felt so inadequate. I might be a bishop now, but still they are the words that come unbidden as I try to be a good leader and find ways to nourish the faith of the new church.
Thank you for that birthday song!
I still remember the birthday when my Grandma Lois woke me after you just got me to sleep and led me outside to look at the stars of the sky. She whispered the story about God promising Abraham and Sarah a family as many as the stars in the sky and said I was part of that great family. She pointed out a star and said that star was mine. Whenever I look at the stars in the sky, I know I belong.
God bless Grandma Lois. I know she’d like that! I remember how she always said, “God willing” every time we talked about the future. For years, I didn’t know what it meant. But what I remember most now, is how she trusted God was present in all she did, big or small, and even in the mistakes, she knew herself beloved.
Such gifts you both kindled in me.
If I never said that I was proud of the home that you kept, I say it now.
If I never said that I was grateful to you, I say it now.
And if I didn’t tell you that I loved you, I say it now.
(Reprinted from the Prayer Bench Spiritual Memoir Worship Series.)