One of the joys of being a part of this online community is that I get to celebrate holidays I would not normally celebrate. As you read this, ironically I am probably over the Atlantic on my way to the USA for a business trip to Phoenix, Arizona. Although today is a national holiday in the UK, there isn’t really a reason for it. We have a number of such holidays where the idea is simply to spend time with family.
But today in America is Memorial Day. I like the idea of a day to cherish the memory of those who have fought and died for our freedoms, and I understand, to also remember those loved ones who have passed away for other reasons.
So today I would like to remember some people who are no longer on earth.
- The soldiers of all nationalities who helped to ensure Europe did not come under the tyranny of fascism, and all those who have died since then fighting for freedom.
- My grandfather, Edwin Millington Warnock, whose faithful service to God in preaching the gospel inspired me, and who one day prophesied about me (although I am not sure he would have called it that) that I would also preach God’s Word.
- Edwin’s wife, my grandmother, who as I grew up, epitomised faithful selfless service to others as she, with great joy, would provide food for her grandchildren and cared uncomplainingly for her husband as his health declined.
- My other grandmother, mother to my Mum, who instilled virtues such as hard work and discipline into my mother, who then passed them on to me. I will also never forget the hours we spent playing Reversi/Othello.
- Henry Tyler, who has had more personal influence on me spiritually than anyone else, apart perhaps from my pastor, Tope Koleoso.
- My Uncle Stephen Hickley, whose trust-filled response to hearing he had terminal cancer was an inspiration to all who heard.
- Two of my sisters’ close friends, whose sudden deaths as teenagers helped propel me towards a medical career.