Writer, speaker and Bible teacher, Ellie Lofaro, shares her memory of a special moonlit night spent with a friend of God.
Barbara Johnson is quite a character. The premiere female Christian author in America, she has sold over six million books. Her most popular to date is Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy, which sold over one million copies. That’s impressive by mainstream market standards so to achieve those sales in the Christian arena is quite a rare accomplishment. Who is this intriguing septuagenarian? She has been referred to as the Christian Erma Bombeck and dubbed “The Queen of Encouragement.”
Although Barbara Johnson is known for her zany observations of life, uplifting humor and cartoonish book covers, in actuality—she is a tender hearted, deeply sensitive woman well acquainted with grief. Bill and Barbara Johnson gave birth to four healthy boys. One lost his life in the Vietnam War and another young son was killed by a drunk driver. In the midst of all of this, her husband was struck by a car on a mountainside as he was driving to a youth retreat with the weekend food supply. His injuries left him severely disabled and in need of long-term hospitalization. He was confined to a veteran’s home and declared legally blind. (One year later, Mr. Johnson regained his sight and his full health. The California medical board declared his recovery “an act of God.”)
A third son declared his homosexuality and cut family ties for eleven years. He changed his name and returned all letters from his parents. Devastated by her “deposits in heaven,” overwhelmed by the helplessness of her husband, and heartsick over the abrupt “loss” of her wayward son– Barbara considered ending her life by driving off a bridge. (Years later, she confessed that she feared being maimed instead of killed.) Thank God for “healthy” fear!
In one of her early books, Where Does A Mother Go To Resign? Barbara bares her soul and shares the dark days that plagued and shook her faith. She tells of how a living, loving God met her on the bridge on that tortured day. He literally lifted her unbearable grief and filled her with joy unspeakable. That joy is the trademark of Barbara’s ministry to millions. Because of all that God had done to heal her broken heart, she felt a need to reach out to other hurting parents and Spatula Ministries was born. This is a non-profit organization designed to “…peel parents off the ceiling with a spatula of love and start them on a road to recovery.” In addition, she and her husband Bill publish “The Love Line,” a monthly homespun newsletter (free of charge) that provides help, inspiration and laughter for thousands. Barbara claims she is too old for high tech and so, she types her newsletter, answers her own phone and does not have an email address. None of this seems to slow her down.
Continue this article at “A Moonlit Memory – Part II“