In 1972, I was a youth pastor and speaker to young people freshly assigned to the Seattle area as my new area of ministry. When I arrived there, I knew no one. I felt a stranger in a strange land. I was looking for inspiration and direction. I was a bit lost. Little did I know my life and my level of faith was about to dramatically change. God led me to a young man named Wes Johnson whose mother was unlike anyone I had ever encountered in my lifetime. If you have ever wondered what the phrase means, “A gift from God,” I can tell you from the essence of my heart that it became real on a Tuesday afternoon just before dinner time in mid-September.
The moment I met Peggy Johnson I said to myself, “This is a woman on a mission.” The first thing I said to her was, “I am going to make your son, Wes, a leader.” She smiled at me. From that moment on, I had a friend for life. Peggy loved two things, advancing the kingdom of God and her family. From the moment she awoke in the morning until she finally allowed the Holy Spirit to induce slumber after a day of faithful blessings, she was committed to being God’s woman and to seeing everyone around her believing passionately that their life in Christ needed to mirror that same experience.
Peggy graced your presence like a whirlwind engulfed a willow tree. She shook you and prodded you and challenged you so that every branch of your being was swaying to the rhythm of God’s will for you that day and beyond. She was not into human relaxation. That was a shallow and wasted experience in the plan her Lord had for you. Her joy was to see the Word of God brought to life in words, actions and achievements. You didn’t hang out with Peggy, you lifted off with her. She used her living room like Jesus used the seashore. It was not a simple configuration of tables and chairs, it was a tent meeting with carpet. People did not come to the Johnson family home to sip a cup of tea, they came to be revolutionized by the Holy Spirit. This was not just a residence, it was a daily revival.
No one made God smile more, in my lifetime, than this remarkable woman. Peggy was petitie, a slight blonde with a gracious spirit. But, when she got rolling she would be the last person you would ever want to meet in a discussion about Jesus Christ and his plans for your soul. Simply put, she wanted you to know how much he loved you and the joy of that existence with him. Like a mongoose confronting tigers, she was fearless because of her convictions in Him. She never let up. She never wavered. She never lost faith in those she loved. From her elegantly devoted husband to her four children, tender Kathy, selfless Gary, ebullient Wes and her sweet shadow, Ricky, she adored her family. And to the friends they brought home it was like being with a saint from the early church. The Book of Acts Peggy-style.
She never tired of hearing the Word of God. She never slowed down in the visions she had for all of us. She never stopped believing Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me and I will answer you and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Most moms want to make sure their living room looked nice. Peggy wanted to make sure the world was changed. She could do her laundry later. She was relentless with her Godly convictions but there was nothing contrived about them. You knew she was genuine. This was her life. She was charmingly relentless.
The world will never know Peggy Johnson like they knew Billy Graham or Henrietta Mears. But, we knew her. And, because we knew her and loved her and ministered alongside of her, our lives changed in ways we never would have realized had we not stepped into her life. I can still hear her voice and see her smile and feel her energy driving us, challenging us, encouraging us and believing the best in us, in Christ. I assure you she is looking down upon us right now and lifting our souls to Him. I can hear her make her plea to God, “Can you ask some of the angels to help me put more chairs in the living room? We’re having a bible study and I want to make sure everyone has a seat! Jesus is coming over tonight and His Spirit is going to change someone’s life!”
And God will smile and say, “You were a good and faithful servant, Peggy. You can relax now and enjoy your rewards.” Her response? “There is still so much to be done before Jesus comes back. We need to keep moving.” That’s what whirlwinds do. That is all they know. If there are any lazy angels up there, Peggy will find them and put them to work. The only reason she is not with us physically today is because her body gave out, not her spirit. She is now in the perfect place where her soul can pour itself out forever. She is loving heaven. Trust me.
With Peggy Johnson, you fell in love with God a little more every time you were with her. She knew it. You knew it and most importantly, God knew it. We will all be eternally thankful to Him for allowing us the privilege to be loved and motivated by her. Now and forever.
We will never forget you, Peggy. We will always praise God because of you. We better do so. You would have it no other way. Thank you for changing my life.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here