Though she had gone to heaven many years before I married into the family, I heard many stories about my husband’s grandmother Emma Bald Ekhoff. Her legacy was her passionate prayers. One friend confessed, “Emma’s prayers touched heaven.” So you can imagine my excitement when one afternoon while going through old boxes, we came across some of Emma’s kitchen nick-knacks—and among the rusting remains was her journal! Opening the small, brown volume, I began to read with expectation. There was an entry for almost every day of the year 1942. I read until the final word, then closed it and set it away. Here is the lamentable truth: There was nothing there.
March 3: “Did my ironing and darned socks.”
March 8: “All went to church. Douglas was here for dinner. Quite windy.”
March 9: “Cleaned up the cellar. Beautiful day. Wrote letters.”
Interesting? Yes, because these were the details of mid-century farming life. But it was only a bare glimpse of the bare beams. The most passionate sentence in a year of entries was, “Today is Dick’s (her husband’s) birthday. I love him so.”
Consider with me. What do you think it would have meant to me to have her life verse, or her goal for the year? How influential would a nugget of practical godly advice, or better yet what she loved about Jesus and why? How momentous would it have been to have had a single written prayer—just one?
Emma’s little book is before me now, and I have to wonder: Would she have written differently if she had known how much I wanted to know about her relationship with God? Would she have wanted her experience in prayer to be included in my book on prayer? Most certainly she would have.
Seventy years from now when the box of our faded trinkets is opened by a generation we have never met, what greeting will pour forth in the light of the attic window? Is there anything we would like to say about family? About FAITH? Is there a prayer in our hearts for those who will come after us?
Our personal conversations with God are valuable—very valuable, and they have the powerful potential to touch generations we will never meet.