Alfie Evans has sadly passed on. Amidst all the ethical, religious, and political wrangling that has been going on regarding this poor boy’s life, we must take a moment to remember that though there is evil in the world, God remains. Alfie is now in God’s loving arms, where there is no pain, where there are no tears, only joy and everlasting life.

On behalf of the community at AATW, I extend our condolences to Alfie’s family, and pray that God will comfort them at this time. As the perfect Father, who beheld the suffering of His Son, Jesus Christ, and has been witness to all of mankind’s sufferings, He knows our sorrow. But He also extends hope that death will not be a final separation: Jesus died in order to defeat death and break its hold on all of us. For those who put their faith in Jesus, death is not the end, but a doorway to eternal life. In Jesus, all loved ones will be together for eternity, and our life here on earth, in this valley of tears, is but a blink in comparison with that.

In the here and now, there are lessons to learn, however. Alfie and his parents fought bravely for his life, because they valued the gift of life, however short, that God has bestowed on us all. For those who are not tragically impaired, that life involves the gift of free will, a gift of choices. Alfie’s parents put themselves through much suffering because they valued life and chose to fight on life’s behalf. For that, we honour them and remind them that God has seen their labours.

Nothing of value comes easily: it has to be won with toil and perseverance. Though we can take nothing with us when we finally depart this life, we leave much behind, gifts for those who come after. The world we live in today is the product of our ancestors’ work. It was they who first built the railways, first developed vaccines, first celebrated birthdays, first composed funeral dirges. They valued life, and fought in the dust and grime to preserve it, extend it, and give it purpose and meaning. We should too.