I posted pictures and thoughts on mortality on the 25th. A week has passed, full of happenings. The next day was our younger son's birthday. Twenty-two years ago he joined us after a day spent in the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. I remember Lois hooked up to a monitor after the doctor had done an exam during a routine pre-natal visit, "You're having a contraction now. Don't you feel it?" "Well, I feel a sort of tightening. is that it?" "If that's all you feel, I'm not letting you go home. You won't know you're in labour until it's too late!"
So we spent the day with Lois hooked up to a monitor. Every so often she would say, "Am I having a contraction?" And I would look at the monitor and say, "Yes." Nevin has not always been so unobtrusive; but for 22 years he has been a joy and delight in our lives. Two sons, and both wonderful men today.
The next day (the 27th) was Thanksgiving. We're in Canada, and most people here ignored American Thanksgiving. Considering how little attention Americans pay to our Thanksgiving celebration in October, one understands. the pictures I posted last time, reminding myself of what Lois and I looked like 32 years ago, are cause enough for thanks. I am sometimes simply surprised at my good fortune, to be in my 32nd year of marriage to a wonderful woman.
Then Sunday began the Advent season. "Lo, He comes with clouds descending, once for favoured sinners slain. Thousand, thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train." Remembering our Lord's first coming in weakness, and anticipating his return in power and great glory.
When I think of these things, I think also of Zimbabwe -- or any place where injustice has a grip on people's lives. "All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things shall be well." Was that Julian of Norwich? I'm not sure. But the truth is there. Our world is in a mess -- ecologically, morally, politically -- but the prayer, "Your kingdom come on earth as in Heaven" holds true, and I can give thanks. Always.
Such language falls into sermonizing too easily; but I need strong hope for the pessimism that lies just beneath the surface. Family and faith in God: these are sources of strong hope indeed.