The last two months have been full of emotions of all shades...
Maurits and Kirsten's wedding on December the 18th. Fantastic celebration. Came out to discover that one of our friends from antenatal class's gorgeous baby Justin had died the night before, apparently of SIDS. Danielle used to meet up with his mum Kathy and some other mums. Heartbreaking grief.
Then Christmas celebrations with lots of family and friends (was great having MJ and then Brett and Jo to stay) and Jonny and Debbie's wedding.
Danielle's parents came to stay as well for about 10 days in early January, great for us all to enjoy James developing together...
Then on Saturday 16th of January received a tragic phone call from my brother Andrew telling us that Simon Pettit had died suddenly of a heart attack in New Zealand. Simon led Jubilee Community Church for 14 years and was a great-hearted man. He ran to the end, always pointing upwards. Danielle and I were so privileged to have been on a trip with him to India in 2002. Almost every discussion I had with him made me see the issue in a totally different light. So full of life, it seems impossible.
The afternoon after his funeral, a young man in our church who has been suffering from a brain tumour died. His parents have been absolutely courageous.
Then on the 28th of January, one of my dad's oldest friends, Brian Hahn was attacked on the university campus and critically wounded. He eventually suffered a stroke and became unconscious the following wednesday, and died on Saturday the 5th of February. This has been really tough for my dad - they founded a Christian newspaper on campus while they were still students. He spoke at the memorial service today.
And in the midst of all this, I'm thoroughly enjoying being married to Danielle and a father to James. "Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief" (Proverbs 14:3) has come to mind repeatedly. The New Testament seems to have a much deeper understanding of suffering than we tend to as well, been pondering these things. And praying for family members whose loss is profoundly deeper than mine.