Yesterday was a sad day for some of our community - perhaps especially the kids: our cat, Lucy (named after a queen in Narnia), had to be put down after having been hit by a car.
At our little burial in the garden, my 3-year-old son said 'We'll see Lucy again when she wakes up.' Well meaning adults, including myself, stepped in to put the little chap right: Lucy wasn't going to wake up.
'When Jesus comes back, we'll all wake up' he retorted. Saving a debate about animals and the afterlife for another day, it did rather seem that his child's faith had trumped us all.
The next morning, our worship time had a strong strand of hope in Jesus' return. I thought of my son's simple belief that Jesus comes all will be well. Central to our faith, that. For Christians, hope has a name: Jesus.
A few days earlier I had gone to see a very old member of our church who lives in a nursing home. She talks quite a lot and is not always easy to follow. I listen hard because I love her, and because amidst the disconnected jottings from the war and her distant youth and memories, she throws in some gems.
'Do you have anything you'd like to say to the people back at church?' I asked her. She nodded.
'Sometimes you grow and then you stop' she said. 'Then sometimes you grow and then you stop again.'
Now this may not seem very profound to you. But let me tell you, dear reader, I felt I'd just heard the word of the Lord. I'd been agonizing over our lack of growth this year, despite plenty of effort. God was speaking to me about letting Him work different seasons into our shared life.
So there we have it. Out of the mouth of babes... and very old ladies.
Sometimes we complex types need to hear the simple word of hope in the midst of all our strivings. Sometimes you grow and then you stop and then sometimes you grow and then you stop again. But when Jesus comes, we'll all wake up.