Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ups and Downs
Once again I am struck by the ups and downs, good and bad, even life and death that come our way.
With our blended family, we have had the privilege of participating in five family Christmas celebrations. While it is somewhat stressful and causes a lot of busyness, I consider it a joy. How can a "celebration" be a bad thing, right? Amongst these holiday gatherings, we have also been blessed to attend two weddings. One of them being my oldest daughter, Amy. Wahoo Amy and Pete. What a joy, a gift, to give my daughter's hand in marriage to a fine young man like Pete. As I've said many times in the last few weeks "it's all good".
In the midst of our celebrating, though, comes the reminder that this life is flawed, that this world is stained. On Monday, the 28th, it would have been Lisa and Phil's 25th wedding anniversary. Marking points such as those are still difficult. Despite all efforts to try to keep one's mind from "going there", it still does. Lisa and I had a meaningful evening of reminiscing. We watched a video of their 20th anniversary trip to Hawaii and also a video of Bryan's speech at his high school chapel during his senior year. It was a speech in which he remembered the day his father died and his journey since that day that has lead to a deeper faith in Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Then yesterday, as we were preparing to leave for our last Christmas party of the season, we got a call from one of Carol's brothers. Bill and Susan were also attending this party, as it was a gathering of that arm of the family. One of Susan's sisters had been told that she had cancer just about one month ago. She was determined to fight it. Bill and Susan received the bad news that she had passed away yesterday afternoon, just hours before our party. Another young widow, another motherless family, another family missing a dear sister, aunt, daughter. It's so wrong!
That's why we need Christmas. That's why we need a Savior like Jesus. That's why we need someone with the power to save. . . someone to make it alright.
Please pray for the family of Susan's sister as they start the new year with very sad hearts and a hole in their lives that only the Holy Spirit can fill.