Well it’s Melbourne Cup day. The church’s Annual Report is due to be released this coming weekend. So with seemingly all of Melbourne caught up in Cup fever, I sat down this morning to pen some words on the last twelve months. Here’s how I began:
“We have just experienced a dramatic year in the life of this church. There have been many truly wonderful spiritual highlights and blessings. And we have grieved together at the home call of my wife, Sheryl. It has been a dramatic year both for our church community and for myself personally. ”God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble….The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Ps 46:1,11)”
I didn’t get much further. But I have cleaned out the tear ducts!
Then as I sought to resume my writing, I came across the eulogy given by Steve Jobs’ biological sister, Mona Simpson, at his memorial service held on 16th October at the Memorial Church of Stanford University. It has just been published in The New York Times.
“…Steve became ill and we watched his life compress into a smaller circle. Once, he’d loved walking through Paris. He’d discovered a small handmade soba shop in Kyoto. He downhill skied gracefully. He cross-country skied clumsily. No more.
Eventually, even ordinary pleasures, like a good peach, no longer appealed to him. Yet, what amazed me, and what I learned from his illness, was how much was still left after so much had been taken away.
I remember my brother learning to walk again, with a chair. After his liver transplant, once a day he would get up on legs that seemed too thin to bear him, arms pitched to the chair back. He’d push that chair down the Memphis hospital corridor towards the nursing station and then he’d sit down on the chair, rest, turn around and walk back again. He counted his steps and, each day, pressed a little farther.
Laurene got down on her knees and looked into his eyes.
“You can do this, Steve,” she said. His eyes widened. His lips pressed into each other.
He tried. He always, always tried, and always with love at the core of that effort. He was an intensely emotional man.”
Hmm. Still need to finish that Report…..