Sadness

Sadness Will End

From time to time over the last six months I get hit with this overwhelming sense of sadness. I wish there was a better, more descriptive word to explain the complex emotions I feel when I see a child at our local children’s hospital suffering from cancer or hear of a friend’s brother who seems to be losing his battle with colon cancer or see a sports reporter fight through chemotherapy treatments. I wish there were a better word but there’s not. I see these hurting ones and simply weep from deep sadness. Contemplation, journaling and discussing these things with my wife have led me to the conclusion that I am simply grieved by the brokenness of this world.

Our glorious God created this world to be good and perfect in every way. Sin, suffering and pain are foreign to the creation He made but through the willful sin of man and woman, sin entered our beautiful world and continues to bring death and decay to us all. This world is not the way it is supposed to be and neither are you or I. We too are broken and messed up. But through the gift of our Savior’s life, death and resurrection, we have hope both in eternal life and in the good life now. Good because He has promised to walk with us.

When my sad days come and I start to believe that sin and suffering will never end, I turn to Revelation 21:3-7. These verses remind me that death and sin have already been defeated and that full joy will be restored. Our good and glorious God has promised it.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Take courage my friend. For those who place their trust in Christ, suffering will one day end and joy will remain.

 

Regents Park- London

My Love Affair with Travel

This time last year, as I lay in a hospital bed, I was not sure if I would ever get a chance to travel again. Apart from it being a key component of my job, I also love traveling. Let me say that again. I LOVE to travel.  Now I know what you may be thinking – don’t we all love to travel. Yes, to some degree, but I love every part of it. I love the packing, sitting in the waiting area with a cup of coffee, small plane seats, airplane food, new stamps in my passport, crazy third world driving, the confusion of government process, unrecognizable food,  bizarre cultural customs, the great people I meet along the way, feeling lost in a language I do not understand, adding to my storehouse of stories and the adventure of not knowing what tomorrow may bring. Sure, there are things I don’t like – not being able to a shower everyday (what can I say, I like to be clean), puking my guts out from food poisoning, seeing injustice and lostness that I am helpless to address, and a short list of other hard things.

With my declaration of love for travel out in the open, I thought I would share with you a few pictures of our last trip overseas last November. We spent the month visiting friends in France, Italy, Tunisia, Switzerland and the UK. Let me just say, I am thankful to once again be able to sit in a tiny seat, crammed in with hundreds of other people, eating delicious airplane food as I head out to visit with by brothers and sister all over the globe. Ah, life on the road…

Regents Park- London

Regents Park- London

Hanging with our friend Macy in Lyon

Hanging with our friend Macy in Lyon

City of Lyon, France

City of Lyon, France

Lyon bookshop. Bought a classic work here dated 1770

Lyon bookshop. Bought a classic work here dated 1770

Ruins of the first church in Lyon- 133 AD

Ruins of the first church in Lyon- 133 AD

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

The Reformers Monument in Geneva, Switzerland

The Reformers Monument in Geneva, Switzerland

Castle in Aosta Valley, Italy

Castle in Aosta Valley, Italy

The moon over the Alps from Aosta, Italy

The moon over the Alps from Aosta, Italy

Alps

Alps

Switzerland- this was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen

Side of the road in Switzerland – crazy beautiful

Friedrich and Mary Ellen with us on vacation in the Alps

Friedrich and Mary Ellen with us on vacation in the Alps

Visiting friends on the coast of Tunisia

Visiting friends on the coast of Tunisia

Blue door - Tunisia

Blue door – Tunisia