Fifty years ago this month, I began to have a sense of God’s call on my life. A few years later, I was humbled to be accepted for training for the Anglican ministry. But there was just one problem. I was terrified at the thought of having to take funerals. But the Lord was gracious. He removed my fears while at theological college in Bristol. Three months after our first daughter was born, my wife Joanna’s father died suddenly. Then, just a month later, my own father died suddenly. At the age of 29 I became the oldest man in either family. In one month, I gained all the personal experience I needed to be able to empathise with others. And a verse from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians took on special significance.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)Continue reading