21st October 2011
Our very precious friends,
It has been a deeply moving experience to be kept such company in our grief. How life-givingly you have tended and cared for us. As a family we thank you!
How honoured Kingsley would have been by the trouble you have taken to come and give thanks with us for his life. I am deeply conscious not only of our pain, but of yours, and the turmoil of emotions when God does not do as we ask.
Yet, I am so clear that this is also a time in which our Lord is extending to us an extraordinary invitation to trust His judgement, His love of us, and His absolute faithfulness. For some reason, that I know is for our individual and collective healing, our Sovereign God has called our beloved Kingsley home – what an indescribable healing of him! It was not what we had asked for – we had so deeply yearned that it would be miraculous and physical … and that we would be given more time together. But I know too, from the long soaking privilege of our Lord’s company, that I should not be so foolish as to make a hasty judgement about His character or His action. I found C.S.Lewis’ quandary my own, and offer his words to you in the hope that you will find them as valuable as I have:
“Does God then forsake just those who serve Him best? Well, He who served Him best of all said, near His tortured death, “why has Thou forsaken me?”. When God becomes man, that Man of all others, is least comforted by God, at His greatest need. There is a mystery here which, even if I had the power, I might not have the courage to explore. Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.”
So, remarkable friends, we have been given a divine invitation to believe, even though we do not understand. Nothing is too difficult for our God. His arm is not shortened that it cannot save. He is Sovereign. No power of hell, no failed scheme of man, has stolen Kingsley’s life. He is held in the mighty, furious love of Christ, as are we. So I ask that you join our children and me as we wait and find revealed the face of our Saviour – a love so tender, so beautiful, so redemptive, so mighty to save – and with us, trust Him with your pain.
Kingsley was given Isaiah 30:15 in May by a trusted friend. It held him through some devastating places:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”.
There are no failing words with our God.
So come, join our children and me as we give thanks for the beautiful life of my beloved Kingsley that we have been so privileged to share.
My love and gratitude for yours,