Martha’s Benediction

Martha! Photo by DB

Martha! Photo by DB

By Pontificus Minimus

“Lean on your love for God, lean on your love for Beth, and always, always, have a good sense of humor!”  —  Martha Johnson

These timely words were recently reiterated at the Howell, Johnson, & Connell annual Christmas night party, celebrated now for about 45 years! Though Pontificus moved away from the Delta for well over 20 years, the Christmas soiree has remained one of the seminal events in his life, and one dearly missed when distance and money made it difficult to return home.

Martha is a rare bird! Quiet in her gracious ways of visiting the infirmed, loud in her laughter when around those she loves. She has always been a defender of Pontificus, regardless of where and with whom he roamed.

She almost died several years ago, and nigh on her deathbed in the hospital in a semi-conscious state at best, she motioned for her son Shaw, we call him Lil Onie, to get her a sheet of paper. Lil Onie’s wife, Beth, was also in the hospital in labor about to give birth to the Littlest Onie.

She scribbled the following with little or no remembrance: “Lean on your love for God, lean on your love for Beth, and always, always, have a good sense of humor!”

Finer words may never have been spoken. In a nutshell Martha admonished her son to love the Lord, to love his wife, to not take himself too seriously and to enjoy the levity and amusement marbled throughout life’s daily grind.

Jesus was queried by an expert in the Law of Moses as to what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by asking the man what was written in the law and how did he read it.

The expert correctly answered that one should love the Lord with all his heart, soul, strength and mind, and he should love his neighbor as much as he loves himself. Jesus agreed and said if the man would do this, then he will live.

Pontificus aims to work on that “loving the Lord thing” during the coming year and Martha’s benediction is a fine place to start!

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  1. Martha M Johnson says:

    Thank you for your kind words.I’m a bit overwhelmed.but I will always be amazed how
    I was able to relay that message to ShawIII thru my deep fog.

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