No parent expects to outlive his or her own child. So when Gee Walker heard the dreadful confirmation that her son Anthony had been murdered in a racially motivated attack, only a parent who has experienced the loss of a child can begin to understand the agony she experienced, and continues to go through. Like countless others, I was shocked as I read the newspaper reports of the brutal murder of Anthony Walker in Merseyside last autumn. The courage and the forgiveness Gee Walker showed to Anthony’s killers, stands in stark contrast to their hateful crime. Mrs Walker’s sincere Christian faith has clearly helped sustain her and provides the moral compass by which she has steered through the raging waters of the past months. It is highly appropriate therefore that the Evangelical Alliance asked Gee Walker to present an award in her son’s memory at their ‘Champions of Respect’ event – see the news story overleaf for more details. Mrs Walker deserves our admiration and respect. Let’s continue to pray for the Walker’s, now that the nation’s memory of their tragedy is fading. Let’s pray too for Anthony’s killers, that the witness of Gee Walker will speak deeply into their need to face up to the consequences of their evil deeds. Thankfully not all of us have to walk in the same pathway as Gee Walker – most of us will be spared her personal disaster. And yet, in this fractured world, at some stage in our lives we all have to face our own tragedies. Despite the progress of science and medicine – we are all mortal and can be cut down at a moment’s notice. I believe it is at the point of our greatest weakness and vulnerability that we find out the most about our walk with God and what we truly believe. When danger or disaster strikes some followers of the way falter, fade and even fall. Others, although shaken, walk on, despite the circumstances, choosing to believe that God is still all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful. Whatever the season of your soul right now, whether you are in the summer of your life – surrounded by answered prayer and feeling on top of the world, or feeling chilled by the icy winds of winter, cowed by a surgeon’s pessimistic prognosis or by grinding poverty and loneliness – the truth is this; God is with you. The Almighty has promised never to allow you to experience temptation beyond your ability to endure. Some Christians express this truth too glibly and lightly – it is a hard, hard road to find yourself on, mile after weary mile. As a parent I hope that I will never have to walk the same road that Gee Walker faces each day, mourning her loss. But if I do, I have her shining example to follow – to forgive, to love, to hope, to trust and to continue to praise God. Matt Redman’s profound worship song, ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord’ speaks of this; that God’s name is worthy to be praised at all occasions, in good times and bad. I pray that whatever the days ahead will bring you and I, even if ‘the darkness closes in Lord, still we will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord’.