Next week Mum gets new knees.
She is going to hospital to finally do something about the bone on bone agony she has been suffering these past few years. Agony that drugs and physiotherapy can now only chase, but never catch.
Mum is finding it hard to catch things too. The bus. The train. The grandkids.
New knees will give mum a new lease on life. We told her to go ahead and get new knees because, on the surface, there’s so much life in her yet. At 73 she’s vibrant and funny, she’s travelled and wants to keep travelling, she’s hospitable and generous, she’s a servant at church and in the community. New knees means all that stuff will keep going.
So if the rest of Mum is okay, how come she needs new knees?
Mum needs new knees because, over the course of her life she has spent so much time on her knees praying for people. Praying for wayward sons. A lost husband. A friend in distress. For the church. Mum’s knees are prayed out before Mum is.
Mum needs new knees because she’s walked the corridors of aged care facilities as an administrator, helping the elderly and infirm far beyond the call of duty. Popping in to the room of a lady whose husband has just died and who is full of grief.
She needs new knees from all that running around looking for sets of false teeth that belong to someone, but which could – even now – be chomping into afternoon tea cake in someone else’s mouth. Or retrieving glasses that turned up on the wrong bridge of the wrong nose. Or from running the church service in the facility at short notice, when the priest or the vicar didn’t turn up.
Mum needs new knees because she’s wrecked them scrubbing floors, making ends meet when she had four boys at home and no husband. She’s lugged vacuum cleaners and mop buckets and furniture and washing baskets.
Mum needs new knees because she’s cleaned the church and done the tea service, and prayed with people and gone to small groups, and cleaned and catered for thousands of waifs and strays who no one else seemed to want to bother with.
And Mum needs new knees because she wants to keep doing so much of all of that. So next week she goes into hospital to get new knees.
One day, we don’t know when, Mum will get new new knees. In fact she will get a whole new body. She will stand before the One who fashioned her old knees, who knew about her new knees, indeed who gave the surgeons skill to implant them, and she will fall to her knees in worship.
And He will raise her to her feet and remind her: “Behold I make all things new. Even your knees.”