Some of you may be aware that my family went through a rather harrowing experience last week. The story, which is still difficult to tell even now, is a remarkable reminder for me of why the gospel of John is imperative for daily life during a pandemic. Here’s my reasoning. My wife had a scheduled surgery last Thursday September 17. In the early hours of September 18 something went very wrong. She began to bleed internally and she was rushed from one hospital to another and underwent a second surgery. For several hours I did not know what was happening as events moved so quickly. What I did know was that it was not in my power to solve the problem. It’s a terrible feeling. Perhaps it was something like what Martha and Mary felt as they called out to Jesus for the sake of their brother Lazarus in John 11. Or, perhaps the blind man in chapter 9 is another example; someone who can’t control his circumstances and finds himself in the middle of a much larger conversation. When the surgeon told me that my wife was going to live and they had found the problem it took some time for the news to sink in – for joy to take hold and hope to find its place. I don’t doubt that Martha and Mary looked and looked again…and again at their brother, the strips of linen still on his body. The blind man – in my imagination – kept laughing; laughing at everything and anything, for the world is a wonder-full thing to look at. For our family this September, we see the Jesus who stood outside the tomb and wept, the King who entered the life of a beggar, Immanuel who is God with us through joy, through danger, through death and into joy. My wife is recovering slowly but well, and laughter is back in our house. This recent trial is a strong reminder for my family that there is nothing that takes God by surprise – not even a pandemic – no matter how shocked or surprised we find ourselves. Rather, we find that when we look closely, we see that He is in our story. Immanuel, God with us.
David Ward, Principal