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Being blessed with the Christian faith it simply isn’t possible for me to believe that the human story is a meaningless and pointless happening in an eternally pointless and meaningless universe. I believe in the God of the Hebrew—Christian scriptures, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who will return to right all wrongs, make all things new and to bless the redeemed with hearts of righteousness and unending joy in deathless life in a glorious resurrection.
That means that I believe beyond debate that one day I’ll be walking down some road and I’ll see my Ethel walking toward me, all smiles and health-filled, a young girl again; wheelchair, illness and death gone forever. I confess (perhaps to my shame) that right now that picture means more to me emotionally than seeing the face of Jesus. [I’ll get all that worked out but in the meantime I know Jesus isn’t jealous of a love that honours him.]
She who was God’s helper in bringing about whatever little good there is in me, who went without my presence as she encouraged me to go do some things in God’s name that might prove useful to others in need—she’d want me to continue to do that. [Millions would know what I mean in saying all this for they have been through or are going through what I’m going through and not yet making a good job of it.]
Pathetic as I am I still need to offer the little I have so I’m wanting to say to my Ethel not so much a goodbye as an au revoir.
However common it is—and it is common—it’s astonishing how one human can become so important to another. What a profoundly lovely gift God has given us to develop when he gave us human love!
I need to move on and say goodbye for a while to my Ethel until I see her again. I’ve been helped much through my children and extended family, friends and brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ and I’m grateful.