We have recently started a new service at 6:30pm on the first Sunday of the month at Wadworth church - it is called “Something Different” and it does exactly what it says on the tin! At the last service Jane read from Captain Corelli's Mandolin. I had heard the same reading the day before, at a wedding. In fact I have heard the reading several times before at many weddings. It is a popular selection. There is a line that struck me at the wedding and then again as Jane read it:
“Love is a temporary madness”
The more I have thought about this phrase the more I have have come to realise there is sometimes nothing temporary about the madness of love. We do mad things because of love, but the madness persists - does it not?
God so loved the world that he sent his only son to die on the cross - madness surely - but no temporary madness - in fact it is eternal madness that demonstrates the eternal love of God for His creation.
Likewise, in a place that seems long ago, twenty odd years past, Jane and I adopted three children with special needs - madness by the worlds values, foolishness by societies rules but wisdom if you look down from the cross. We have since progressed from a family with three children with special needs to a family with three young adults with special needs - both parallel universes to the ones most other people live and exist in!
Last night we had our Harvest sing a longa at the the Village Hall in Wadworth - in many ways it was an evening that was twenty years in the making - it was the first one we had taken all three along too- Rob is a regular but Owen and Amy? 6 months ago they would have caused chaos!! Emily an older “normal” child has also become a regular. So I watched holding back the tears of joy as Owen led off proceedings with Doe Rae Me, Amy sang from Mama Mia and they did a duet for “Any Dream Will Do”.
In our darkest times with these three children, when we had little money, I was training to be a Vicar, working in the NHS was stressful, the battles with social services, the battles with education authorities, the view from the cross kept Jane and I going. Think of it like this. A bowling ball and a basket ball are both round balls. If you drop a bowling ball it can be noisy, even painful. It is not designed to bounce. However a basket ball does bounce but you could not throw it down a bowling alley. Life can be a bowling ball, hard and painful when you drop it; or life can be like a basket ball, when you drop it, the ball bounces back.
When people ask how have we coped - it is simple - the presence of Jesus in our lives makes us basket balls - so we bounce back - however hard we hit the floor.
Still temporarily Mad