Making peace with the “Re” in our lives that does not happen!

March 10, 2015

The paramedics tried to Re-suscitate Mike ,they could not.

I wanted to Re-count to a family of 5, we are 4

Can I not Re-turn to having a son, I have 2 daughters

The “Re” is the desire to go back to a previous state. We use words like rebuild, restore, redeem, return and renew to articulate that desire. But what happens when the “re” does not happen? How do I move forward in a healthy way? How to I transition from where I was,  accepting the loss and now finding I am at a new place, more often than not, not by my choosing?

Oh and then we say have faith, pray more! Well the divorce went through, the business collapsed, the cancer continued, the redundancy went through. The Re was absent! I don’t have an answer here, sorry. All I can do is cry with you and walk with you as you look at the new landscape after the storm has wash away what was norm.

My story with regard to Mike is a little different. I can honestly say that today, I do not want to return to that place. How an earth can I say that? Well it has to do with my faith and hope in the Redemptive Story. I believe the words of Paul in the Holy Scriptures that says

 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. “ 2 Cor 5

Mike has been Re-stored, Re-united and Re-turned in completeness. He is with His Heavenly Father. Whilst I am missing him, I know he is in the best place I could want for him. If he were to have been Re-suscitated he would only have to die later anyway! So within the Redemptive Story I can say 5 ½ years on “I do not want to re-turn” to having a son present, I do have a son, its just he went on ahead!

July 31, 2014
He is alive! Sun rise Aug 1st 2014 Inchon, Sth Korea

He is alive! Sun rise Aug 1st 2014 Inchon, Sth Korea

A beginning starts with an end. On this 5th anniversary of Mike’s death I wake early before the sun rise here in Inchon, South Korea with the word’s “He’s alive, He’s alive, I’m forgiven Heaven’s gates are open wide”

John 20

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in [a]Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

How important it is to have a body to bury as a part of the process of dealing with grief. There is something special about a person’s body to the family, to those who loved the person, especially mum, dad, brothers and sisters. It’s a time of utter confusion, pain, disbelief, loss, end, death, anger…. I know how Mary found comfort in coming to the place where her son was laid to rest. But to the find the body has disappeared would be horrendous. “Who has defiled my son’s body? How can they do this? I am already in such pain and now they put more on me”

In her pain and tears and grief, Mary see’s a gardener, but that is not who He is. Who do I see in my grief, pain and confusion? What is so loving is Jesus is not indignant to Mary, the one who has just done the unthinkable, doesn’t have an attitude of ego, He says one word and it’s her name, He does not say, “I am Jesus.” Oh my giddy aunt, Jesus say’s Mark, Kathy, Akila, Laura today as he did 5 years ago. That’s all I need and like Mary, I no longer see a gardener but I can say “I have seen the Lord”

Jesus is still in the business of revelation today and calling us by name. When was the last time you heard Him call your name? He loves us and died for us. So today, I rise early on Logos Hope, a name that is both Greek and English. Logos = the living word, Jesus. Hope = a sure confidence, not an aspiration. So my confidence is in Jesus. Mike’s beginning started with an end, death proceeds life. So today, as we in Korea and the girls in England thank God for Mike’s life and celebrate his new beginning, we also thank God for Jesus conquering death and just saying our names. That’s enough for me!

My Daily Confession

February 11, 2014

Some years ago, I met someone who had battled with deep depression that had destroyed his life for several years. He had come through and had found some aids along the way. He gave me a copy of his “My daily Confession”. For a year after I kept a printed copy in my wallet and would read daily, but then I lost it and I stopped. I found a copy again on my laptop and realised I need to re-launch the practice. It sooths my soul and encourages me daily to remind me who I am in Christ Jesus, why I am here and what is my purpose.

My Daily Confession

“My cup of life overflows and because of your great Love for me I am blessed in the morning. I am blessed in the evening and I am blessed at night. Lord you have plans for me until I walk through the final valley you will keep me able to serve, counsel me, guide my steps and make my way flourish like a well watered tree. You will daily feed me on good things from your Word and make provisions for my needs. I will be a witness to the goodness of the Lord and I will tell others of my salvation by faith in Christ alone not having my own righteousness. Out of this relationship He creates a life of good works of Grace to be done through me. I am Father God’s child, born anew of the Holy Spirit and part of the Kingdom of Christ; though I may fall I will not be cast down. His refreshing tender mercies are renewed to me every morning. My new creation life that comes from above will bare the fruit of the Holy Spirit and I will do well in my anointed and appointed gifting. With my old life hidden in Christ I have strength and peace. This makes me more than a conqueror over Satan, sin, self and death and because I walk in the light, love and life of Christ nothing touches me that has not passed through Father God’s hands.”

Healing from the outside in.

February 13, 2013

When will the passion return? When will meaning in the ordinary come back? When will excitement for next steps be evident? Kathy and I wondered the other day whether or not we should have a chat with some sort of counsellor. On the one hand, I have read much, have a pretty good understanding of my personality type and on the other often say “we do not know what we do not know”! I am also a little guarded about chatting to someone who has read much but experienced little!

I’m enjoying a book of speeches written by a gentleman in 1870. He used a phrase that struck out to me; “healing from the inside out”. I remembered a girl on one of our ships who developed lots of boils. The doctor lanced them and kept a piece of gauze in them so that they did not heal from the outside, thus forming a block to let the puss out. The boils had to heal from the inside out.

On the surface and externally, Kathy, Akila, Laura and I are doing well. On the other hand we are very aware of “transition”. We aren’t who were or where we want to be. We havent a clue where we are going or how to get there. I’m very relaxed about it and have seen this “desert” or “quiet place” to be good in our lives. Although we have wondered if by now we should not of already arrived at the next place. It’s now 3 1/2 years since Mike died.

When the air is allowed to come in contact with an external wound, it speeds up the repairing of the skin process. There is no external damage to the emotion of grief. Healing is a slow and unseen process. It’s more than the ingredient of time. It’s a journey of obstacles to face, the confrontation of unwanted intrusions that bring emotions to the surface, the transition of holding on to letting go, looking back and allowing a tear and a smile, focusing on what we have not what we lost, decoding what is important from the stuff of life, engaging in the process not denying it and I suppose importantly excepting not fighting the healing process and thats where time comes in. These processes take time to do their work. If it takes a baby 9 months from conception to delivery then there is no point fighting that time line.

“God, its completed, you kept your end of the bargin!”

September 17, 2012

“The issue is closed”

 On Monday this week I went up to the grave side to see Mike and chat to God. I needed to say to God and tell Mike “The issue is closed”.

When the paramedics were in with Mike, I stood on the landing outside his room holding the rail, stamping my feet and saying “God I will be pissed off is something eternal does not come out of this”. Who am I to talk like that to God? But in His loving kindness He just likes it when we communicate with Him. I know He understood my emotion and confusion at that time.

Of course we have seen some wonderful evidence of eternal fruit over the past 3 years. There are several stories I could tell, but Mysterious? just blew us all out of the water. Every day we hear of more people who have now started walking with Father God or who are stepping closer to Him. I don’t measure spiritual issues as its impossible to quantify what God does. I like a phrase Eugene Peterson uses in The Message, “arithmetic is not God’s focus”, but the stories numerous.

I needed to draw a line and say “It’s finished”. Not that more fruit will not come over the months and years, but that little rant on August 1st 2009 I had at God is over. He has “kept His end of the bargain”, even though He never entered into it! The issue is over and I am so grateful that Mike’s death has produced “life”.

God is sewing on what is missing!

June 27, 2012

Mike wrote “God brought me here to sew on what is missing”. Mike was on Logos II, a ship serving the nations, as a young deck hand. We were wondering how he was getting on being a rather shy boy and not one that talked much.  At that time there were around 100+ on the ship. I so liked Mike’s perspective and phrase. Mike was aware of his personality but more, the way we high-lighted his quiet nature hurt him. He wanted to be a more communicative person and for him, he knew God was working in his life.

“We as humans don’t have the power to change one another, only God has that power. No matter what comes out of our mouths it will not help.” Mike Wrote. We can influence another but can we change someone. Mike felt not and our comments even though they were because we loved him and had a concern, did not help him.

Mike had heard me say to Kath over the years the words of Clint Eastwood from a movie with Sondra Locke “nag, nag, nag” and he used that phrase! Whilst we feel the urge to make comment and have the best intentions we don’t always realize the hurt we can inflict. He later wrote “you know I didn’t realise until now that a quiet person can bring so much joy to someone, knowing that there is someone that Love’s me because of the person I am is like the rain clouds moving out of the way of the Sun and once again the sun shines on me, I just wish that everyone Loved me as a blessing from God”

Ruth Graham knew exactly what she wanted on her grave stone. She was aware that in this life her personality was under construction.

Construction Completed!

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