August 14, 2011
This coming weekend we will be celebrating Akila’s 23rd birthday and her farewell as heads to Australia. I am so excited that our best friends are flying in to share this time with us, wonderful family friends from the area and Akila and Laura’s friends will all be together. As is traditional, I will have a fire going where people can sit around and chat.
This week I phoned another local friend and within an hour he was round for a coffee. As there was no rain, i made a fire and we sat and chatted for a couple of hours. As Paul got up to leave as the fire was dwindling he said “this has been a great time, i came a bit down and i leave a bit up”.
My point, its so nice to sit around a fire with friends than to sit at the bar with strangers. Some of my favorite memories include friends and family around a fire.
August 12, 2011
My Muslim friend in India wrote to me this week and said “Some times God is not nice to us”. Is this Truth? Two years ago today, August 12th, I with my family and friends lowered Mike into the ground. It was one of the most horrible emotional experiences anyone can have. It brought emotions of betrayal, lack of love, walking away……..
Kathy has used for many years a daily Bible reading plan and on this day the reading is from Lamentations 3. We have lost the practice of lamenting in the West. We watch both Muslims and Jews lamenting when there is the death of a loved one. The lamenting process, a song of grief or mourning is a great way to externalize what is happening internally.
Jeremiah, who wrote Lamentations said
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
I do not agree with my Muslim friend, not only does the Bible tell me of God’s daily love and mercy, but I and my family have experienced it over this past two years. We are always in danger of looking at the photo of the moment, but that is not Truth, we must watch the whole movie to understand Truth. Jesus said that He was Truth. The world has been watching England in these last days and asking “where is their moral compass”? The problem is not with God, its with the heart of humans! If you don’t believe me, just look at your own!
God is good all the time.
August 9, 2011
August 1st 2011....two years on.
My perspective on life, and death, is limited. Two years on from August 1st 2009 I see and understand more than I did in the confusion, turmoil and disorientation of the initial aftermath. I still don’t have clear precise answers but I have “more light” than I did two years ago.
I view life through my lenses, from my perspective, but as I have walked with God this path, as I have read His words in the scriptures, I have seen, although through scratched lenses, His perspective. At first it was hard to focus through the tears and pain but as time has passed, emotion settled, the picture He paints becomes clearer.
God has walked Kathy, Akila, Laura and I through the shock and grief of Mike’s passing. He has revealed to us new truth’s about Himself, ourselves and His eternal purposes for Mike. His perspective is vital. If I did not believe that, then I too would wear black to the funeral, I too would see Mike’s death as such a tragic event.
So as I take the principle to see God’s perspective, I ask what, not why God. I look at th e longer term Kingdom unfolding of events. My best mates business going into administration does not make sense, when he his brother and wife have given so much money away to brilliant causes and individuals. Yes there is the reality of the business environment, but would not God want them to keep pouring funds into so many charities! His perspective and time will reveal the bigger picture, although we may have to wait until heaven to see it! Both the apparent good and bad are all used to bring out His purposes.
August 2, 2011
“It’s rude to interrupt”, is what I heard parents say as I grew up. Interruption = “a breach or break, caused by the abrupt intervention of something foreign; intervention; interposition”. As I sat in Mike’s room yesterday at 08:10, the moment I found him dead two years ago and pondered over that day the life subsequent to that awful morning, what struck me was that my life had been interrupted. Often when someone interrupts, it’s during a conversation and we simply pick up again from where we paused.
When life is interrupted, whether it be the day we find out we have a serious life threatening illness, the sudden death of a loved one, sudden unemployment, the shock of being told your spouse no longer loves you, these type of interruptions are so abrupt that they also can bring shock to accompany the interruption. As I reflect, I realise that Mike’s death was not a simple interruption in my life that you pause what you were doing, deal with the person or event of the interruption and then continue with life.
And so I sit and ponder on “the interruptions of our lives”. As a Christian I believe in submitting my life to the Lordship of Christ. One of our modern songs has the line “I surrender all”. I want to be a disciple of Christ, to follow and obey Him. BUT have I given Him the right to interrupt my life! He screwed up my plans! Kathy keeps referring to August 1st as “a thief in the night”. The thief does not announce his arrival, its sudden and unexpected. So was the interruption, the break, the intrusion, the intervention into my life with my plans.
I have blogged previously about the “grief wheel”. It shows life as a path, then the wheel of grief and then the coming out of the wheel and carrying on with life. A simple one-dimensional illustration which is very helpful but incredibly simplistic to the complexity of life and humanity. Whilst I can say “nothing but good has come out of Mike’s death”, I don’t like my life being interrupted, I’m not sure I gave permission for it and I may have to forgive God for being rude!
Some interruptions in life are welcome!
August 1, 2011
Someone said to me today, “this must be a tough weekend”. Two years ago I wanted to blog the journey as I did not want to stand up one day and it all sound so wonderful, so holy, so God this and God that. I committed to honesty along the way and I have tried to be faithful to that.
This is not a tough weekend for me. Mike is up there doing stuff with God, what I havent a clue but he got to experience it all before me! I wish I had the words to explain why it is not tough. We remember, we mark the occasion, we went to the cemetery, I watched Mr Bean, I rode his bike on the fells, I watched Johnny English and laugh, I totally enjoyed just time with Kathy. There isnt a day that I dont think of Mike in one way or another. Every day, tears are just bellow the surface, tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears at others pain, tears of gratefulness.
I am so grateful for Kathy, the girls, wonderful friends, a happy heart and experiencing God daily, its true! I received a phone call today from a man who I sent my little story about “The Fathers Love”, he cried on the end of the phone how his older children run their lives, void of God. For me, I would rather Mike be with God and away from me than with me and away from God. For Christian parents, they would understand that comment.
A proud and grateful mum and dad.