I didn't know Papa Fred very well. Most of my knowledge of him was through my family who met with him regularly on Zoom and travelled with him in the nations. Perhaps my only memory of interacting with him was once when I was translating for a meeting on Zoom. At the end during the host's goodbye's and thank-you's, Papa Fred, in his familiar and endearing unmuted-fashion, said, "嗯，Jenny 很棒!" ("Yes, Jenny is great!"). A simple but cherished affirmation from a papa from whom I am now learning so much.In honour of this ever-writing grandpa, some words I jotted in my journal during the week after Papa Fred went home:
Perhaps the loving Father allows suffering because it tenderizes our hearts to love, and to be loved.Life, from death. Clarity of love, from behind the blur of tears. Laying one's life down, like Jesus did.
In these tenderizing times,
Our hearts are being reminded of love.
So much of what Papa God is doing among and through us - behind, and before, above-there, and below-here - is unto restoring family.
Truly, the dreams of our hearts point back to the Dream of His: Family.
Brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunties, grandparents, sons and daughters... dwelling together in unity. One. Family.
Even what Papa God has been and is doing in my own life: restoration unto family.
Whole hearts, unto whole relationships
Marriage covenants, unto family covenants
Heart tenderized - to cherish, and to honour, and to continue in the precious, precious inheritance of restoring family of our (my) Papa's and Mama's. Where before there was indifference, an unshakable burning passion. Where there was skepticism, a deep deep trust. Where there were little judgements and offences, graciousness and a love that covers. Where there was dishonour (even just a speck), deep sincere honour for one another.