During the last 9 months of Fr. Rick Thomas’ life, a few of us were helping care for him. There were some intense moments but there were also some funny bloopers. I’d like to share one of those bloopers and what we can learn from it.
This happened when Fr. Thomas was quite weak but slowly regaining some strength. For about an 8 day interval, he was unable to speak. This was a few months before his death. Father would write what he wanted or needed on a clipboard. His writing was not easy to read since he was weak plus he would often abbreviate words.
So one day he wrote what I thought said, “Ban Snakes.” Since we were in the spiritual warfare mode, I interpreted what he wrote as that he wanted us to read Scripture out loud. So I said, “You want us to ban the snakes?” — meaning you want us to read out loud the Word of God? He put down his pen, leaned his head back on the pillow, and smiled. It was clear I had misinterpreted the message, and he thought it was humorous. I started laughing and said, “Sorry Father, I don’t get what you are trying to say.”
I then started to make guesses to try to unlock this code. It was like we were playing charades. He tried to print over his letters on the paper trying to make them more clear. Meanwhile I kept making guesses. He then tried to mouth what he was trying to communicate.
I FINALLY GOT IT! Yay! What he was trying to write was, “Banana Shake.” He wanted me to make him a banana shake (milk and frozen bananas blended up to make a thick milkshake). The code was cracked. He nodded with delight. I laughed and laughed while I made him his shake. It was quite comical but Father persevered with patience until I caught on.
For God does speak — now one way, now another — though no one perceives it. Job 33:14
God is always trying to communicate with us. He speaks first in one way, and then in another, hoping we will catch on. If we don’t get what He’s trying to say, He patiently keeps trying.
He may try to speak to us in His Word or through another person. He may try to express His message through creation, through present circumstances, or through pain or joys. There are so many ways He tries to communicate with us — but do we perceive it? Do we try to get what He is saying?
God really wants to tell us things. Our job is to listen.
It really is so beautiful how God keeps trying, and He always will as long as we are alive. We are His children so of course He has lots to tell us. So let’s focus in as He speaks. It may be a difficult lesson, but then it may be as simple as making a banana shake.
Mary Ann / Mother Hen