Our Leah has a really good friend called Leah R and this year for her 14th birthday she decided to have a big barbecue and invite lots of people.
She wanted the barbecue to be a celebration of our Leah’s life and she asked everyone to make a donation instead of bringing a birthday present. The money donated will be divided between three charities: Clic Sargent The Anthony Nolan Trust and the N.I. Children’s Hospice. She printed this account and handed it around at the barbecue:
Thankfully we were blessed with good weather. People young and not so young started arriving at her family home shortly after 4pm and most were left by 11pm. There was a steady trickle of people coming and going all evening and food, both savoury and sweet, was in abundance. There were many helpers, including the lovely Ferguson sisters and smiley Ben from New Zealand. There was a bouncy castle and sumo wrestler suits.
The young people played football and there was face-painting. Later in the evening the young ones toasted marshmallows and sang worship songs around the fire.
Some of us older ones got a bit chilly so we went inside and enjoyed good conversation and caught up with old friends as well as making new ones. Cups of tea and coffee were being continuously handed out while homemade cakes were passed around too.
Leah R’s parents, Owen and Lesley, constantly circulated, welcoming guests as they arrived, ensuring everyone got enough to eat and drink and that no one was left out. Approximately 120 people attended and over a thousand pounds was raised, to be divided between the three charities.
There were thank yous for everybody as they left –
When my husband and I were leaving we were given these beautiful flowers.
One of my Bible readings for today was
“Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. . . . And they cried out in fear.”
– Matthew 14:25-26 nkjv
It then goes on to say how the disciples were in the midst of a storm and because Jesus came to them in a way they weren’t expecting they almost didn’t recognise Him.
Grief is a storm too and sometimes the waves threaten to overwhelm me and I wonder if it really is possible to go on. I risk making the same mistake as those disciples, by not noticing how in the midst of my grief God has sent so many beautiful people to show His love to us as a family.
God’s lights in my dark night are so numerous and each one is exceedingly precious – how would we ever have survived this far without the loving support of the people He has placed in our lives?