Sister Jane Livesey CJ
Today I am going to a wedding. I have known the groom since he was 12. This year his mother died tragically at the age of 56. She was within metres of completing a walk on South Africa’s Table Mountain when she collapsed from heat stroke and died three days later, just as her two children landed in Johannesburg Airport and before they could see her to say goodbye. Di was one of those people, and thank God we all have some of them in our lives, who was gentle, self-effacing and full of integrity. To know her was to have been enriched – and I am one of many to have been so enriched.
The great German Protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man whose own integrity led him to the concentration camp in Flossenburg and execution in April 1945 had it right when he said that nothing can fill the gap when we are away from those we love, and it would be wrong to try and find anything. We must simply hold out and win through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, since leaving the gap unfilled preserves the bonds between us.
At today’s wedding there will be a Di-shaped gap both in the church and afterwards. But she will be there in the minds and hearts of all who loved and continue to love her – and thus the bonds are preserved.
Lord, we ask you to help us to "hold out and win through" when those we love are taken from us suddenly and unexpectedly, trusting that nonetheless the bonds between us are not broken.