It was just a card ... .
When I visited my nephew, then a vicar in Suffolk, a year ago I was prevailed upon
to stay an extra day as the clergy from the deanery were going by coach to visit
Mother Julian's chapel in Norwich and there was a spare place for me.
In the bookshop there I bought an attractive postcard with the well known words of
Mother Julian All shall be well, and all shall be well; all manner of things shall
be well'. I put the card in my prayer book and there it stayed until several months
later I received a phone call from one of my Northumbria Community friends asking
me to pray for her. Her life, she said, was falling apart, she had lost her job and
temporarily at least, her faith. She felt, she said, completely at sea. I remembered
the card and sent it to her with a message of support on the back, and she put it
in her Bible.
Several weeks later she phoned me again. this time to say she was about to start
a new job, her life had got back together again and prayers had been answered. Then
she told me about the card. She had woken up one morning and suddenly felt prompted
to take it out and put it in her window of her front room which faces on to the street
- the card could be clearly read from outside. A week later there came a knock on
her door and a strange young man was standing there, said he'd read the words on
the card and could he come in and talk to her. Rather hesitantly, she invited him
in and offered him a cup of tea. He told her he'd won a scholarship to Oxford University
but found the pressure too much and had suffered a severe nervous break-down. My
friend, having had a similar experience, was able to help him and he went away more
hopefully than he had set out.
At a 'Churches Together' meeting a week or two later she met the boy's mother, who
told her that her son had not spoken one word to her or anyone since coming home
from Oxford until that day he'd read the card and come into my friend's house for
help. He was now fully recovered and had recommenced his studies, this time successfully.
A series of coincidences - or was it the intervention of the Holy Spirit? What do