Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Life Gone and not wasted

Yesterday I lost a friend of some fifty years or so.

His life looked a disaster on paper. A decent commisssion in the Royal Engineers of the British Army as a National Serviceman, plus a promising career as an architect, all cut short by the onset of acute schizophrenia in his late twenties.

The schizophrenia burnt itself out over the years but left its mark in that his life thereafter was one of hospitals, and as the burning out process took effect care homes and hostels.

All was not however lost. He was a diligent and prayerful god-father to our younger daughter, supportive and understanding of her problems and their gradual resolution. His skill as an artist and draughtsman never left him, and indeed seemed to increase as the years went by. In latter years he had taken to writing religious poetry of a deeply personal nature with great insight into what faith meant.

His journey of faith was not easy but extremely joyful in the end, puzzling though his switches between churches seemed to be. He was a Jewish Christian, and saw that as a filfulment rather than a contradiction, looking to his Lord jesus at all times for support and consolation.

He has died now. Many would say talent wasted. Perhaps not so in the eyes of his Redeemer who, I am sure, saw not a life wasted but a life regained, reshaped, and renewed over many years until its fruition after a heart attack yesterday.

May he rest in peace, and continue his good work!