Of burning beds and marriage

On Sunday morning, our 3 ½ year old, Cameron, was (legally) playing upstairs in the spare room. What he did, however (illegally and despite the balmy spring weather), was switch on the heater. The heater was leaning hazardously against a bed, and the bed subsequently, quietly, caught fire. Cam hurtled merrily downstairs, oblivious to his pyromaniacs. Something (i.e. the Holy Spirit) made Murray go upstairs – for no reason – just to check. Just to prevent, as it turned out, our whole house from burning to the ground.

Then on Sunday afternoon, Murray chatted to a very good mate of ours, who comes from a very good family. So good, in fact, that I’ve almost idolised this family. They’ve lived and breathed and propagated the South African dream. And after forty years of building lives and loving their kids and others into bright futures, our friend’s parents are divorced.

Murray and I felt punched in the gut. We were speechless and ineffably sad.

The burning bed incident gave me that whoa-life-is-so-fragile feeling. Everything could, in fact, go up in smoke. Any day. Any time. Treasure the things that matter.

The broken marriage news gave me that whoa-we-are-so-fragile feeling. Thank God that it’s not for us to know, or to judge. Thank God that there is forgiveness and restoration. Thank God for grace. Never be complacent. A marriage, too, can go up in smoke if you leave the heater against the bed. (Ooh. Bad metaphor. You know what I mean.) Even the strongest, godliest people are only one bad decision away from messing up. Stay close to Jesus, and each other.

‘You are my rock and my fortress. For the honour of your name, lead me out of this danger.’ – Psalm 31:3

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