St Paul’s And Holy Cross
It took us all by surprise; three months earlier he was in good health and enjoying his retirement. On New Year’s Eve my brother-in-law Peter died in the hospice. He was only 59, virulent pancreatic cancer the cause. Sudden unexpected tragedy knocked at our door! It made us feel vulnerable for we have been making plans for the future and we suddenly realised that anytime – this could be one of us! Our mortality was exposed. Our plans could so easily come to nothing!
The weather of the funeral day was dry but a constant grey except for ten seconds of sunshine which occurred at the very moment Peter’s coffin was being lowered into the ground. We took it as a sign of God’s love for us at this painful time.
I was reminded of some lines of a hymn we used to sing many years ago:-
I do not know what lies ahead, the way I cannot see
Yet one stands near to be my guide, He’ll show the way to me
I do not know how many days of life are mine to spend:
But one who knows and cares for me will keep me to the end:
I do not know the course ahead, what joys and griefs are there:
But one is near who fully knows, I’ll trust his loving care.
In so many ways we have experienced this reality. I am far from saying that making plans for the future is a bad thing, but perhaps too easily we can act as though we are masters of the future….
We have been enormously grateful for the love, concern and support so graciously given to us over this period; thankful too for the special care Peter received in the hospice.
Through other people’s prayers we experienced touches of God’s love, and were able to support Peter’s wife, children and elderly mother.
To be alerted to our mortality opens us to the love of God offered to us in Jesus,
With my greetings, Jim Stevens