Saturday, September 17, 2011

17th September

Right then, Smoked Haddock Gratin with Broccoli and Leeks cooked as an 18th century Welsh Rarebit recipe… sounds good doesn’t it? But it’s still just a Sainsbury’s ready meal despite the packaging blurb! It tastes quite nice though, ignoring the abnormal salt content, and yes I’m back camping again doing as little as possible to live as well as possible. And I really don’t enjoy hotels, much preferring the outdoor life. Yesterday was absolutely impossible for me and I knew I needed time out from ‘normality’, so this morning I threw some clothes and my gadgets into the motorhome and drove the two hundred miles or so to my special place… we all need one of those don’t we? Mine is on the south coast, a campsite near Deal, but my motorhome is a bit of a cheat when it comes to camping as it comes with all mod-cons and I’m as comfortable as I am at home. Which being truthful was not very comfortable at all. It’s almost four months since Jane died and that’s really not long enough to move on from the forty years we spent building our lives together. I’m still massively heartbroken and so is just about every close member of my family. Not just my children… today I had my eldest sister and my parents all crying on the phone. And Jane’s 97 year old mum is still in complete shock. I know I have to be brave and walk through my loss. I know that what I’m dealing with is common to most if not all of mankind in one way or another. But it’s so different when it’s personal, this is my loss and it hurts so very much.

My faith journey is the only thing that makes any sense at all at the moment. It makes clear why sickness and even death exists. So then the food chain is primarily driven by profit not health, everything is geared towards ‘acceptable’ standards to maximise production. And the air we breathe, the water we drink, despite regulation, can never be described as 100% toxin free. Our workplaces, often our home life and other relationships are often stressful disordered arenas challenged by all manner of failings. And many times we chase after that which has only the most temporal value; we don’t measure true worth until often too late leaving only a sense of disappointment to deal with. I guess I’ve just described my life, at least in part, so it’s no wonder sickness takes a hold. The Bible calls this disorder sin… basically doing things our way rather  than God’s; we usually make life up as best as we can without reference to the one who created the world and everything in it. And every single one of us lives with this as a problem from the moment we are born. We all start life separated from the Lord because of this inbuilt tendency, and only as we decide to turn our back on our own ideas and seek him for his truth can we make a start on changing our life. But when a society, and most of the world, basically turns it’s back on even ethical living or any definable morality it’s no wonder we get sick.

There is an answer to this problem though. And that answer is to be found in the Lord Jesus who came to ‘take away the sin of the world’. I’ve found that the more I turn my back on so called worldly ways the more I find peace and complete assurance that all is well with my soul. Grief is God’s gift to those who’ve lost a loved one, helping them to process and progress into a new future. The Bible makes it clear that in this world we will have many troubles, but God is bigger than any of them.  And he created heaven as a place to enjoy perfection living with him. That’s where Jane lives and I intend to join her there by walking as closely to the Lord and living his way as best as I possibly can.  The Bible has a story of a family tragedy and shows how Jesus shared in their grief…

John 11:35 ‘Jesus wept.’ (NIV)

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