Ending well

By Rick James

Last week I had the privilege of sitting in hospital with Joan, a 93 year-old neighbour, in her last days of life. She had a remarkable story. 45 years ago she left her family (including teenage children) to move in with another artist, abandoning her faith along the way. In the last year since her partner died, she rediscovered both her faith and then her family. Despite decades of no contact and obvious hurt, her daughter decided to leave her job and come to live with and care for her mother. Though angry at first, she quickly found she could forgive her. She discovered an unexpected and overwhelming love for her. A couple of months ago at Christmas, Joan met grandchildren and great grandchildren she did not know even existed. This reconciliation has spread further out affecting other broken family relationships.

It was a beautiful example of the power of forgiveness, when conflict is the norm in the world, in our organisations and even churches. Paradoxically, the last months of this elderly lady’s life became life-giving. It showed me the importance of good endings. Endings that bring healing, reconciliation and new life. These probably often involve forgiveness.

This week let’s consider:
What are the upcoming endings in your life or your organisation’s?
What might you do to encourage good, life-affirming endings?


  1. As Christian Leaders or Christian professionals we need to strive to finish well. That is why I love the 21 Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell especially the Law of Legacy. We need to start with our end and how we want want to be remembered.

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