I like to think of dad as something of a smuggler. Today he crossed the English Channel. Right now he is in France. Travelling with him are two old veneered wooden cases. Hardly scratched. Inside are mechanical sewing machines. They will be passed on to contacts in Normandy, and from there will journey to Burkina Faso.
There is a good reason for all this, but my memory preferred the romantic idea of dad acting as a secret agent or pirate.
I’m all for recycling. I just wonder what Burkina Faso are sending back to us? Stories, I hope!
My friend Steve and his new wife Charlie are soon to return to the country themselves, and he has just had a third book published. An adventure novel, called ‘The Yellowcake Conspiracy‘. I am not an eleven-year old boy, but I do love a good story and Steve has a gift for writing. My copy arrived in the post this week.
Andy and Clare’s baby was born yesterday morning, in an emergency caesarian operation. It became apparent that he had a form of lethal achondroplasia, and despite the best efforts of the paediatrian, he died five and a half hours later, at 9:30 am.
These people have touched us with their amazing attitude (see their blog), and strength through all that has happened. It was a protracted birthing process and a highly painful pregnancy, with many trips to a hospital 40 miles away. There have been a number of answers to prayer: availability of the right experts, positivity and strength, the chance to hold the baby and spend time with him and a quiet understanding that it was right to let go when it became apparent that he would not be able to breathe and had severe internal complications.
Such a short life, but our faith and theirs gives us hope; there is an answer in Jesus and the baby is now out of pain. ‘We do not grieve like the rest of men who have no hope.’ (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Another friend of mine died recently, aged 90. A long life. Full of stories and many layers of colourful cardigans. Evelyn used to write to me when I left home, and had an incredible love of languages. She taught herself a large number of languages and I have her New Testament Greek textbook. It felt right to let her go too; she had lived a long and fruitful life, but when she wrote down what really mattered to her it was her testimony of becoming a Christian and the hope that it gave her. The funeral, although not a large occasion, was a chance to reiterate the hope that faith brings.