The C.O. visit started last night. His first talk to us had, as he said, the longest title yet:
"Help People Become Reconciled to God, Zealously Persevere in your Efforts."
The speaker started by referring us to Revelation 7:1 to 10 with its vivid image of the four angels holding back "the winds of destruction" until the 144,000 annointed ones have been sealed, and "the great crowd" has been gathered in. The great crowd "keep on" witnessing - persevering to the end.
And that is the point. We mustn't let anything rob us of our joy or make us lose our zeal for trying to reach everyone with the Kingdom good news.
Audrey and I got out on the doors yesterday morning - with Maggie and a very young sister who is still in the middle of her school exams. So I had an extra precious cargo in my car and prayed a lot to Jehovah to protect my driving. And thanks to that I got everyone there and back safely.
We - El Capitano and myself - went to David's this morning to see his butterfly collection. He has an amazing collection of Clouded Yellows. The beauty and variety of the creation seems endless. Although I am sad to note that people do still kill and pin butterflies.
I know there is a science side to this - and that they do have to be classified and examined. And David's collection is exact and labelled and beautifully done - better probably than most museums manage.
And that we do eat meat and fish sometimes. And that loads of insects die on the windscreen of our car.
But each one is a precious and exquisite little life.
Well, Paradise is not restored yet. Nature is still "red in tooth and claw with ravine". But the Bible assures us that it was not created that way, and that it will not stay that way.