We crave family this time of year. Many drive long distances to be with them. Turkey dinners are carefully laid out for relatives. Even broken families wish for better times and may attempt reconciliation. Loneliness can be profound when one has little family left. Some people have so much family to visit, they become exhausted.
Scripture applauds good families. In Joseph and Mary’s family we see a glimpse of togetherness during a special time. Luke 2:41-52 tells us how their extended family traveled together to Jerusalem for Passover. This would have been a happy time for each of them. When the 12-year old Jesus went missing, they assumed he was somewhere nearby with relatives. We can safely let down our guard around family. Continue reading
One day Solomon thought about the labours of man, and wrote, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” (Eccles.4:9-10). In his day, most people worked on farms and in the fields where it is hard for one person to handle large animals and heavy harvests. Injuries were common, but easier to survive with friends helping out. Continue reading
One morning in September 2008 Thomas Vander Woude, a retired airline pilot who now kept a farm in Northern Virginia, was working his 26 acres with his 20 year old handicapped son Joseph by his side. When they had separated to do other chores, Joseph walked on a damaged septic tank cover and broke through, falling into the almost full 8 foot deep tank. Seeing the accident from a distance, Vander Woude rushed over to assist his youngest son. Unable to pull him from the tank, he lowered himself into the sewage and treaded beside him to help keep Josephs’ head above the waste, but he was still sinking. Vander Woude then made the decision to dive under the sewage and raise his Down syndrome afflicted son up on his shoulders to free him from drowning. When rescuers finally arrived they pulled Joseph out, injured but alive. His father Thomas though was dead, suffocated under the waste. Continue reading