When we planted RFC it was easy to build friendship into the core values of the church because we were doing it with great people, the Crazy Mackays being amongst them. I didn't know Craig & Karena well then but I did know they loved Jesus and were happy to join us in the adventure.
That was over 10 years ago. Since then our friendship has grown as has the treasury of memories and shared moments. We've camped in the rain, bathed our kids, laughed & cried, worshipped & prayed. Our lives have become inter-twined and found it ever easier to 'bear with one another in love'! Like many things in life, you don't know how good is until you realize it's going to change.
And now we are journeying with them in the final days of Karena's life. Watching from a distance as the children grab a few minutes with their mum is very moving. We are mindful of Craig & Karena's many other good friends who want to say their goodbye personally to Karena but graciously give them space. It must be very hard for these other dear friends, but the Crazys are very aware of the love & support & prayers from them.
In a few days time, I'm guessing, Karena will breath her last and meet Jesus face to face. I bet she gives a big 'whooop' when she sees Him! For many of us though, a big hole will open up in our lives ... Liz & I and our children will need to press into Jesus to make sense of the pain in our hearts.
I guess our friendship with the Crazy Mackays will change (Karena brought so much), but our enjoyment and commitment to them will continue ... which will probably involve more impromptu crazy dancing, noisy meal times & wet camping trips. We will all get through this.