Some months ago Akila told me that Kathy and I were not to arrange anything for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. All she would tell us was the times we were leaving and returning and that we needed clothes for outside that may get muddy! As she was driving us in the direction of Scotland, although I hoped we would be warm in a tent, I was so grateful that in the new DNA of our family, our girls want to be with us on this special occasion.
This past year has been a time of healing, bonding, establishing new norms and accepting a new reality for the four of us. Kathy and I enjoy more than ever activities with the girls. We know that we will have ample time in the future to be by ourselves. For most anniversary’s Kathy and I have gone away by ourselves…..not this time.
After 2 1/2 hours of driving we came to a rebuilt small Scottish castle in the middle of no where. Akila said we were having a tour as our accommodation at the other place was not ready. This ‘castle’ was set on a small hill and was more of a fortified house, although we discovered King James has stayed there. The tour guide was waiting for us and proceeded to take us around. As we came into the main lounge area, I heard Kathy and the girls give out a big scream and there were our friends. What an incredible surprise……the rats, we were staying in this restored 5 star castle with friends for the weekend.
A castle is so fitting a place for celebrating 25 years of marriage with friends. There are so many parallels between my thoughts on marriage, friendships and a castle………safety, strength, refuge, home, peace, fighting, history, fun, feasting, belonging, family and intimacy. Laura, Akila, Kathy and I have retreated this past year to the “castle of friendship.” We retreated within her walls and with love to and from each other and with our close friends we healed up.
We look to new adventures with our friends as we take ‘His flag of friendship’ to the people’s of the world. King James wanted his people to have access to the scriptures, and today we have the “Authorised King James Version”. If I could only use three words to describe the message of the Bible, it would be the title of my tract about Mike and I; “The Fathers Love”. Matthew wrote, The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ I dont know about you but I intend to keep feasting and celebrating with our friends and family and introducing our Father to others so they too can enjoy His awesome friendship.
And so thanks to Akila, Laura, Nick, Joyce, Stephen, Norman, Heather, Steve Todd and Karen for “The Castle of Friendship”.