Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Of penguins and lions

We've had a fairly calm 24 hours, thankfully. Pads has not talked again, but he had called out, especially when we try to move him. We're also keeping a close eye on his temperature, which has required paracetamol to control. It's impossible to work out the cause of these spikes.
It was great to see Pads' cousin Anwen yesterday, back from her reconstituted 'Oz experience', complete with jet lag and a gift for one of his school-mates. He and Padi share many interests, a love of penguins amongst them, and this sent Anwen in pursuit of a plush Fairy (or Little) penguin, native to Australia and New Zealand, in Sydney Zoo.
Little/Fairy Penguins
(image cc fir0002 ). Sadly, Pads showed no signs of consciousness and it was hard to be confronted with such a dramatic change in the time she's been away. Anwen also spotted another kind of Lion, in the form of Brian O'Driscoll. The whole of the 3rd Test is available on YouTube at The scale of that victory by the Lions was only comparible to Wales defeat of England recently, to claim the 6 Nations Championship. In both games, supporters could sit back for a large part of the second half and rejoice as their team continued to play 'out of their skins', watching the seconds tick down in delicious anticipation of the inevitable victory. If you hadn't guessed already, I can't resist alluding to this in connection with Padi's battle with cancer. Because there is yet another kind of lion, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, one of Christ's titles which our pastor preached about last Sunday (we have just started a YouTube channel where you can watch this sermon - see ). On one view of Padi's bed, death and disease seem to be the ones I with a vice-like grip on unfolding events. But that is not the whole story. We have One who is Almighty to save. With each passing moment, Christ's victory, a victory gained through apparent defeat on the cross, draws nearer because that victory is shared with all who call upon His Name. In His body, by His death and resurrection He abolished death for us and the scale of that victory is beyond anyone's powers of description. It behooves us to at least check any rising sadness and at least dart a glimpse towards a glorious outcome and a Wonderful Redeemer.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Paul in 1 Corinthians 15)
Dry your tears, ye that stand around the bed of the dying believer, the parting moment is almost at hand -- a cold damp is on the forehead -- the eye is fixed -- the pulse too feeble to be felt -- are you staggered at such a spectacle? Nay! let faith do its part! The chamber is crowded with glorious forms; angels are waiting there to take charge of the disembodied soul; a hand gentler than any human is closing those eyes; and a voice sweeter than any human is whispering -- "Surely the Lord giveth his beloved sleep." Henry Melvill (1798-1871), in a Sermon entitled "Death the Gift of God.", cited by Spurgeon in commenting upon Psalm 127. (Thanks to Daniel for providing this quote).

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