Just got off the phone to an old friend. He and his wife used to run a weekly Bible study group that as teenagers I and my friends attended for many years. She used to cook dinner for about twenty of us every week, and then crack the whip while we did the washing up. Today, nobody knows what the future holds for her, not even the next few weeks. Medical opinion is grave, but she still exudes the life, joy and love that she always did.
I never knew she struggled as a parent. I thought she must have been the perfect Mum. I never knew that she thought she could have been a better grandmother either. She has regrets as a parent, she told me once. I can’t imagine how someone as loving and sensible and balanced could fail in any way as a mother.
Here are some of the things they both taught me.
Children are a blessing. You celebrate them and welcome them no matter what.
God is logical, loving and sensible and has no need for flowery language, aggressive debate or exclusion of any kind. It’s not brain surgery. God = Love.
Weddings are a celebration. Party on.
The world is there to love and explore. But we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to fix it.
Giving is not giving until it hurts.
If you are a good steward of the things that have been given to you, you will be blessed (ie what goes around comes around).
Some things just really, really suck.