I have decided to begin a blog to share bits and pieces of miscellanea I have collected over forty years of Christian living. God has brought many interesting people, and experiences my way. As well, I have loved pondering life, and would like to share some of my thoughts and ideas after a lifetime of reading and thinking. May these various fragments- I hope to post them three times a week from Monday through Friday –  bring blessing to you.

Alison

In the late 1980’s, John and I, and our five children, spent a year in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scotland is beautiful, of course, and Edinburgh particularly so. But, as is usual with me, my acutest memories have to do with people. One humorous memory  – at least in retrospect – concerns Sarah, the Duchess of York. She visited our area one day and all the local primary students, including my three girls, went to see her. I guess even little Scottish children get restless and rowdy because she lectured them on their misbehavior! (Oh dear!) …Another person I still think of is Kenny MacDonald.

I briefly met Kenny, his wife and children at Buccleuch church one Sunday. They had come back to Edinburgh to visit one weekend, after he had completed his studies at the Free Church College. I remember being struck by Kenny’s focus and energy, but it was only later that I heard his story.

Kenny’s daughter, nineteen-year-old Alison, had gone missing several years before. She had been touring the East with a good friend for several months. While temporarily settled in a small town in Kashmir, they had separated for a few days. When Merry returned to their village, Alison was gone. She has not been heard from since.

How does a Christian father handle this? Within twenty-four hours Kenny was on his way to Kashmir – the first of seventeen trips he would make over the years. He interviewed everyone he could about Alison’s last days in the village. He became convinced – to his great surprise – that Alison was still alive! As best he could make out, through information from the local people and the surrounding tribes, she had been kidnapped. Why? If I understand things properly, there were various possibilities.To teach radical political leaders English, so they could better communicate their ideas to the West? To be married to a local chief’s son? No one knows, of course.  All is guesswork. In any case, within the last couple of years, Kenny has been successful in having the case reopened. He heard one of the Kashmiri leaders speaking publicly with Scottish words and phrases, and was able to convince Interpol to follow this up. Kenny acknowledges that following up every lead in Alison’s case has been a critical part of dealing with his daughter’s disappearance.

So that is what Kenny has done. Still, our question as Christians is, “But how is Kenny doing? Let me answer that with a question. Are there Christians you know who make you particularly proud? You look at them and think, “I am just so honored that they are my brothers – or sisters – in Christ?” Kenny is one of those. He radiates the peace and joy of the Lord. He is well into his seventies now, and suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. The disease has affected his vision so much that he has just a sliver of sight left – a sliver of sight with which he expects to see Alison one day before he dies. If not? Then he has misread God’s will in that area. But God’s character stands firm. Forever and ever.

But don’t take my word for it. Go to Youtube (In Confidence: The Reverend Kenny MacDonald)      and see Kenny speak for himself. You will be blessed beyond measure. But the basic reason I wrote up this post is simple. It is that Kenny might be blessed by our prayers in the fulfilment of the great desire of his heart- to see his daughter “in the land of the living”. If not, then he will surely receive the greater blessing of seeing her in heaven. But how I would love to hear him say, as our father Jacob said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” Will you pray with me for this old father?

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