Sadly, last week was not a good week for the family.
It began with a sibling in hospital with a compound fracture of his femur after a fall from a ladder.
It took them all week to stabilise his condition so that he could go home – and now there will be many more weeks of physiotherapy.
I was still coming to terms with that when a close friend phoned in great distress to tell me that his wife had just left him after more than 30 years of marriage.
Barely 24-hours later I was shaken by the news that a dear niece of mine discovered that her husband had hung himself in their garage.
I’m sure you have weeks like that too.
Weeks where everything goes wrong and you end up asking whether life really makes sense.
A spate of health issues afflict the family… a set-back in your business ventures spoils the week … or there is the unexpected death of a friend.
And then I haven’t even mentioned yet the COVID-pandemic … or the drought … or the bushfires.
An Australian Prime Minister once got himself into trouble for stating the obvious about life in our fallen world.
He said: “Life wasn’t meant to be easy!”
Last week, when things went horribly wrong in my family, I thought of the British preacher G Campbell Morgan.
On one occasion he was called out to a mine disaster.
He told the grieving, distraught assemblage about an old family Bible back home and its curious silk marker.
“When you look at one side of that cloth,” he said “you can’t see anything but a meaningless jumble of threads.
But when you turn it over, you read this message: God is love.
My friends, we are now seeing the backside of God’s marker.
Some day, in His time, He will turn it over and reveal to us the other side … and all will be plain at last.”
John Westendorp, Narrabri Presbyterian Church.
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