THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: The priceless gift of hope

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I travelled down to Southampton to see my old friend John. It was an emotional day.

John went to hospital recently thinking he might have suffered a minor stroke. When his wife came to pick him up he greeted her: “Well, there’s good news and bad news. Good news – it wasn’t a stroke!”

“And the bad news?” “It’s an inoperable brain tumour.”

I visited John to encourage him; typically, it was he who encouraged me, as he has done so often before.

He can do that because he has something that money cannot buy. He has hope.

Radiotherapy has left its mark. He suffers pain. His concentration has deteriorated. He is concerned for his wife and his children and grandchildren – and his dog.

He knows that the days ahead will not be easy. But the faith he has shared with so many has become even more real to him now.

I couldn’t help remembering the vacuous slogan that has been pasted on buses all over our land: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

Tell that to John and he will laugh out loud. He knows better.

Rev Steve Weatherly-Barton

Gosberton Baptist Church