Sunday, 28 December 2008
At first, I saw the Spirit as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a president, a judge, but I really didn't know Him.
But later on, when I really met and began to understand the Spirit, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, (for us petrol heads..this could also be a car di ba) but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that the Spirit was in the back helping me pedal. I don't know just when it was that He suggested we change places and I agreed... and life has not been the same since.
When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. .. It was the shortest distance between two points. I always did things my way. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds; it was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!" I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust.
I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I'd say, "I'm scared," He'd lean back and touch my hand. He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey, Spirit's and mine. And we were off again.
He said, "Give the gifts away; they're extra baggage, too much weight." So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He'd wreck it; but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Spirit.
And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore, He just smiles and says... Pedal.
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
The Trailer above is of the forthcomming concert by a Canadian Christian band, Myztery, whose new album 'Tempus Fugit' and accompanying animated video will be released shortly. Details of that concert on the end of the trailer.. the theme is Death, Judgement, Heaven & Hell, ck it out if you are from that area..great band.
Visit their website at: http://www.myztery.net/
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Sunday, 31 August 2008
Saturday, 30 August 2008
As soon as the light turned red and our car stopped, like a bolt of lightning, the young girl, perhaps seven years old, threw a pint of soapy water onto our car window. She then began to wipe, scrub and bubble away. It was in the middle of the road on a cool December night. But I was not cool. She caught me by surprise. And the other kids, wearing wet, soiled clothes were running around with buckets and foam.
Despite my growing impatience, I was drawn to this girl. She could have been in a school Christmas party this moment, I thought. But she was here working so as to eat. When she cleaned my window, I looked into her eyes. Was that sorrow? The light turned green when she begged for my half empty cup of cola. There was no time and cars behind us were honking. As we started to move, I stared through the now crystal-clear glass before me.
All of a sudden, I felt a empty. I missed my chance to bless one of God’s little ones.
See below some archive footage from Ethiopia in 1984, a similar scene to Darfur and so many areas of Sudan right now. Help if you can.. see http://www.mirmedjugorje.org/
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Monday, 18 August 2008
“Lord, help me to bless people today.”
That’s my daily morning prayer… uh, when I’m happy. And usually, I am. But once in awhile, I don’t wake up happy. And usually, it’s because of a difficult person in my life.
That’s when I pray, “Lord, how can I bless this… this… this… creature?” I’m a very patient person, so this doesn’t happen too often. But it happens.
Friend, do you have a difficult person in your life?
And do you sometimes want to pray, “Lord, if you will allow it, let a 50,000 megawatt bolt of lightning strike (Name of Difficult Person) right now. Not to kill him, Lord. Just enough to wake him up and give him second degree burns. Just kidding Lord, but with all due respect, what were you thinking when you created this pathological human being? I don’t want to sound offensive, but were you sleeping on the job when you created this creature? He’s a mess. He’s a composite of all the villains of Spiderman put together….”
Do you sometimes wonder if this difficult person heard God in the middle of the night say, “My child, your ultimate mission in life is to be difficult. That’s the entire purpose of your existence. You shall be the thorn in someone’s flesh. Do everything in your power to annoy him. Be irresponsible. Or be demanding. Or be totally negative. Or be selfish. Or be constantly angry. Or be possessive. Or be always depressed. It doesn’t matter. Your objective is to make his life hell on earth.”
Yes, I must admit that I don’t like a few unlovable characters here and there, but generally, I think the Almighty has done a fantastic job inventing human beings.
I also believe that God allows difficult people to come into our lives to give us very special gifts. What could these gifts be?
I could list down a hundred gifts, but keeping the list short will make it easier to appreciate.
Are you ready? Here are the big 4 gifts you receive from difficult people. (Note: Check out especially Gift #2, because that’s what many people don’t do…)
Difficult people can teach you how to love, preparing you for Heaven!
You learn to become more patient, more understanding, more persevering.
You have pity for them because you realize that “Hurt people hurt people”
You learn to see the good qualities even among difficult people.
You learn how to be compassionate as God is compassionate.
You learn how to forgive, to remove bitterness from your heart.
Difficult people can teach you to protect yourself and learn to say “No” to abuse.
You learn to love yourself, respect yourself, by no longer allowing abuse.
You learn to be courageous and stand up against bullies.
You learn to give tough love—refusing his abuse again. It may be the most loving thing you can do for a difficult person.
You wizen up, learn tact, and learn how to distance yourself from harmful people.
Difficult people can help you get to know your weaknesses.
Difficult people remind you that you too could be difficult to others.
Difficult people teach you many important lessons in life. By seeing the tragic results of their actions, you’re inspired to do the very opposite of what they do.
Difficult people can bring you closer to God.
Difficult people force you to pray a lot. (“Lord, help! I can’t take it anymore!”)
Difficult people force you to trust in God. (“Lord, I give up! I’ve done everything but she’s still a monster…”)
Praying for difficult people may not change them, but YOU will.
“Your cross (difficult person) is your key to heaven…” St. Poveda
You realize that YOU are God’s difficult person—yet you’re still loved by God..
Friend, God allows difficult people into your life to give you these 4 gifts. Don’t miss receiving them!
May your dreams come true,
Articles by Bo Sanchez
Thursday, 14 August 2008
A song by Karl Kohlhase called 'Bread of Life' and video clips from the Last Supper scenes of Jesus of Nazareth Series and also some clips of Padre (St) Pio celebrating Mass, the continuiity through the ages of scripture, 'unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you' .
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Saturday, 2 August 2008
I was walking in the lobby of St. Luke’s hospital in Quezon City when this man came up and hit me with this very deep question.
He looked very confused. My guess was that he recognized me from my TV show or my books and decided to ask me a spiritual question. So I gave him my best shot. I dug deep into my theology and said, “The Trinity is all around us. The Trinity is within you. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one…”
His face looked even more puzzled, so I tried even harder. “I know this is difficult to understand, but there are three persons in one God…” I explained. “Think of fire. The flame, the light, and the heat are separate things yet they’re one. Just like the Trinity.” Believe me, I was mesmerized by my own intelligence.
That was when he interrupted my brilliant answer and said, “Uh, that’s great, but uh… I just want to know where the Holy Trinity School is?”
“Oh…,” I turned red as a tomato and said, “Go right at E. Rodriguez and you’ll see it in 5 minutes…” He thanked me and left in a huff. Probably to get away as fast as he can from the religious kook he was talking to.
Would you believe? I was explaining the Dogma of the Trinity to a man who simply needed simple directions.
I’ve learned my lesson never to complicate my life more than I should.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Monday, 28 July 2008
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
No one saw the complete plans for the church until it was finished. When the people gathered, they marvelled at it's beauty. Then someone asked, "But where are the lamps? How will it be lighted?"
The nobleman pointed to some brackets in the walls. Then he gave each family a lamp, asking them to bring these with them each time they came to worship. "Each time you are in church, the area where you are seated will be lighted," the nobleman said.
"Each time you are not here, that area will be dark. This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God's house will be dark."
Monday, 21 July 2008
Saturday, 19 July 2008
On the top of the hill is a beautiful old church. You can walk up winding paths to the church as I did one cold January day, taking care of the black ice that rimmed the paths.
I came across three ladies who looked as if they were in their 70's, kneeling on the ice in front of a statue of Our Lady. They were praying the Rosary and I watched them for a while. They completed 15 decades, unfazed and unflinching as gusts of cold air rattled up the path and made me shiver.
When they finished and stood up, the youngest lady turned to me and smiled. I said 'hello' and asked where they were from. She told me that she and her companions were from a rural village about 2 hours away by bus.
I asked why she came. Her story was simple. She and her 2 friends are members of the Leigon of Mary. They worked in their tiny village, visiting the sick and the needy. Her 2 friends had visited a sick farmer taking him a hot meal every day and on one visit left him a miraculous medal.
Another visitor saw the medal and reported the 2 ladies to the magistrate. (Its an offense for Christians to spread their faith in China). He sentenced them both to three months in a labour camp for the crime of spreading their religion.
They had just completed their sentence the previous day and had come immediately to the shrine of Sheshan to say thank you to Our Lady for helping them get through their sentence and also for the opportunity to do penance in a small way (Xiao - Xiao) in suffering for their faith.
I watched them walk slowly away up the hill to the main church. One had a limp. I wondered if their experience would stop them visiting the sick and giving out miraculous medals in the future..but I doubt it somehow..
Sunday, 13 July 2008
Saturday, 5 July 2008
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Monday, 23 June 2008
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
I felt lonely, forsaken and angry with my parents. As time went on I subconsciously developed anger towards God for having allowed me to grow up without parental love. Hurting deep inside myself, I channeled my energy and time into my studies and became a top student. I prided myself on my intelligence and independence, with never so much as a thank you to anyone, let alone God. I went to college in Shimla and had many friends from all parts of India. I looked up to them to fill the emptiness I had within me. In order to remain updated to the worldly standard, my friends and I would not miss a single ball in cricket matches, watch the latest MTV hits, get the latest fashions etc. I knew these pleasures were temporary but I depended on them to fill the void of a lack of love in my life.
In 1999 I attended a retreat in Kerala, a life in the Spirit seminar. The last day was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit session and as I progressed I could here people shouting and crying. The Priest leading the session explained that Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament. I wondered to myself why nothing was happening to me. He quoted from Isaiah 49:15 “can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore ? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you” I was shocked; the words seemed to be spoken specifically to me. They burned a lasting imprint into my mind and heart. Tears welled up in my eyes and as I looked towards the blessed sacrament, I saw a figure, with arms outstretched towards me. It was Jesus and He also was weeping. Believe me friends, Jesus wept. He wept with me..He wept for me...I had a deep sense of being understood by someone at last. And not just understood; here was someone who was crying along with me.
From that moment I was a changed person and my relationship with Jesus has been growing everyday. He gave me guidance and strength to walk in His ways. I spent time with Him and the desire for worldy pleasure died down. I received the grace to forgive my parents and to pray for them and love them. I feel no pain now.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
The story that unfolded ran: it was September 1940 when we joined the air force. At Halifax we were given an intensive training course because we were needed overseas. We were grouped into squadrons each of which consisted of 6 to 10 planes and each was trained to manoeuvre as a unit. About 30-50 men made up a squadron. They told us that we were going overseas and would be in action right away. We would be on nightly missions over enemy territory.
We eagerly awaited our new squadron leader. As an officer he would, we believed, go straight to the officers quarters. However, this one, Stan Fulton, in full uniform, headed for our bunk house, where he settled in with the rest of us, saying “ There’s a free bunk and I am tired ! I’ll meet each of you tomorrow”.
With that, he threw his bag on an upper bunk. Our squadron leader, an officer, sleeping here with us ! We liked him at once and our admiration grew each day. That first night he knelt on the floor and prayed his Rosary in silence. Astounded we were struck dumb. When he finished he looked at us his friendly smile and said “I hope you guys don’t find a fellow saying some prayers because where we are going we’re going to need them”.
Next day at manoeuvre practice, we found that Fulton was not just our military leader, but our friend. He was one of us. He never tried to intimidate with his rank. Next night, he repeated his prayer session. Although our group had been together for 6 months, I had never seen anyone kneel in prayer, and had no idea that any of our group was Catholic.
The third night 3 of our companions joined Fulton in praying the Rosary. The rest of us did not understand, but we kept a respectful silence. We weren’t slow however on the pick-up. Soon we were all answering the Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s. So, we ended each day in prayer.
Soon enough we were to begin a series of night raids from England over Germany. The evening before, Fulton gave each one of us a Rosary “we shall be in some tight situations, but if you agree to keep the rosary with you and to pray it, I promise you that Our Lady will bring you all back safe”.
“Sure thing” we replied, little thinking we would be in action for 4 years, often in dreadful danger. At such times, Fulton’s voice would ring through each plane “Hail Mary…” and we would devoutly respond ! We must have said hundreds of Rosaries in the skies.
Ours, was the only squadron that did not lose a plane or a single life. We said nothing, but we treasured our secret weapon and knew Our Lady had saved us all
Friday, 23 May 2008
Monday, 19 May 2008
He got dressed and ventured out into the night with this group of people, walking for miles. On the way they were joined by 2 other groups until they numbered about 120 people. They came to a forest and he noticed that some of the male members were climbing up the trees. (it turns out that they were look-outs).
They got to a clearing in the forest and there was a small half-built wall from an old derelict building. As they came closer, everyone fell down on their knees before the wall.
Moments later, one man got up and walked towards the wall and reaching forwards removed one brick, behind the brick was reserved the Blessed Sacrament. They adored the Blessed Sacrament for one hour in silent prayer. Then the brick was replaced, the men came down from the trees and they went home.
Two or three times a week they would go to the wall in the middle of the night, risking imprisonment or even their lives, to spend an hour with Jesus, their greatest friend.”
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Thursday, 15 May 2008
The plot thickened; as the son told him how he had left under a cloud, the ‘blacksheep’ of the family you could say, and although he wanted to attend his mother’s funeral he was a bit concerned about how he would be received by the rest of the family. Perhaps Fr.. could smooth things over for him ? He agreed to do so.
At the funeral, when he came in all his relatives embraced him and welcomed him, somehow the death in the family became a source of unity and they all cried together and were reconciled and put past events behind them.
The son was so pleased that he heartily thanked the PP for his help and said that “if there is anything I can ever do for you, just let me know and I will” The priest thought this over for a few moments and said “actually there is one thing, I’m having a Life in the Spirit Seminar here for the next few weeks and I’d like you to attend”
His face dropped at the prospect of having to spend a half a dozen evenings in church; He had been away from the church for a very long time, born into the Catholic church but never really deciding to be one. However he was grateful and so agreed to attend, just to please him.
As the weeks went by, and he listened to the teachings and testimonies of these “born again” Catholics, he received the gift of faith, it all started to make sense to him, the love of God, the sacrifice of Jesus, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He decided for God , was reconciled with Him and received His mercy and forgiveness.
A complete change came over him, the same zeal and dedication he had once had for sin, he now had for God and wanted to share this good news with others. Soon his family, amazed at his transformation, were attending the next Life in the Spirit seminar, as were some old friends. He was happy and at peace at last.
A couple of months later, still in his twenties, he had a heart attack and died.
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
I am going forward through life amidst rainbows and storms, but with my head held high with pride, for I am a royal child. I feel that the blood of Jesus is circulating in my veins, and I have put my trust in the great mercy of the Lord. (992)
Jesus is commanding me to make a novena before the Feast of Mercy, and today I am to begin it for the conversion of the whole world and for the recognition of the Divine Mercy... "so that every soul will praise My goodness. I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My mercy. (1059)
My Jesus, support me when difficult and stormy days come, days of testing, days of ordeal, when suffering and fatigue begin to oppress my body and my soul. Sustain me, Jesus, and give me strength to bear suffering. Set a guard upon my lips that they may address no word of complaint to creatures. Your most merciful Heart is all my hope. I have nothing for my defense but only Your mercy; in it lies all my trust. (1065)
Monday, 21 April 2008
A video about Christian Solidarity International's work in Sudan where they redeem people from slavery and help them return to home & family, with the song "Our Father" by Peter Mason see http://www.itrustjesus.com/ for music and http://www.mirmedjugorje.org/ for info on slave redemption and how you can help.
Friday, 18 April 2008
“Recently Fr Garry contacted me to share an idea. The People of Masserti, he said, are growing rice, in fact they could grow more than they need. But they can’t afford to transport it to a rice mill for processing. If they had their own mill, he said they could feed themselves and we could buy the excess for other projects.
Two hours later the telephone rang and a gentleman said he and his wife would like to help the people of Masserti and he offered a specific donation.
The donation was the exact amount that would be needed for the mill that Fr Garry had spoken of. The names of the donors were …… Mr & Mrs Rice !
Monday, 14 April 2008
The date of it's origin is somewhat obscure, but despite the vicissitudes of life around it, the holy atmosphere of this little shrine has remained, and even to the present day there are pilgrimages to it, just as there used to be in generations past. 'The history of Ladyewell's origin is a very romantic one.
Centuries ago when the sons of Ireland, imbued with the fever of unrest, were roaming throughout the distant parts of the world, the circumstances arose which led to the founding of this shrine.
It was a day in autumn, when the elements were battling and causing a great destruction, a heavily laden galley was making very poor progress northward against a tempestuous Irish sea. The owner of the galley was Fergus Maguire, a younger son of a Chief of Fermanagh who, rich with the efforts of his trading gathered in many remote parts, was returning to his native land.
Day and night he and his crew had laboured without making much headway. So discouraged did his crew become that, throwing down their oars, they resigned themselves to their death, which indeed they thought was inevitable. Fergus, on the other hand, had no such ideas of resignation, and continued to man the helm until with one mighty surge the sea rested it from his grasp.
Then it was that this brave man felt in his extremity the necessity for prayer, and, falling down upon his knees, he besought Almighty God to come to his assistance, vowing that in the event of his deliverance he would perform some pious action. The storm did not abate, but the ship rode it safely, and finally reached the safety of a sheltered estuary. Tired after the strenuous battle, Fergus retired to rest. While he slept he heard a heavenly voice crying "Go to Fernyhalgh and there where thou shalt find a crabtree having coreless fruit hanging over a shrine, build me a chapel".
When he awoke, the Irishman began his inquiries among the inhabitants of the then little port of Liverpool, concerning the place called Fernyhalgh. Of all he asked, no one could tell him anything about it, or where it was situated. Leaving his galley in the hands of his foster father he set out to find Fernyhalgh. Far and wide he travelled into many strange places, and amongst many strange people.
The manner of his reception varied greatly! Some, on hearing his enquiry, would openly scoff at him. It was twilight of a November day that Fergus, being very weary from his travels, drew rein before the gate of a small house situated on an incline with many outhouses about it. The lady of the house stood on the gateway, and her demeanour suggested that she was impatiently awaiting for someone's return. Soon he learned that it was the good lady's maid who had taken the cows to the pastures and was very late in returning. Fergus asked if he could be of assistance to her, but she declined his offer, so leaving her to her vigil he entered the house to rest.
Soon he was aroused by the sound of voices, and heard the matron scolding her maid for not returning home sooner. "Nay mistress" said the girl in reply. "It is not my fault. The Dun cow, who is never quiet at her feeding, had strayed further than usual. I found her at Fernyhalgh". Here Fergus interposed, and on ascertaining that there was such a place as Fernyhalgh, was told by the mistress that it was three miles from where they were. The maid, proof that she had been there, displayed a gnarled and twisted branch, which, she said, she had broken off the apple tree near the spring. The branch was nearly leafless, but had a few crab apples adhering to it and on examining the fruits, Fergus discovered that they were coreless, just as he had been told in the vision.
The next day Fergus and the maid, Hilda, set out for Fernyhalgh, the place for which he had sought for so long. They crossed the common which lay between the village of Preston and the boundaries of the farm.She told Fergus of her own home which was on the edge of the hollow in which the well lay how on the death of her parents, the neighbours had been so kind to her. She told him of Oswald, their neighbours' son, of whom, he divined, she was very fond. When at last they reached the well, and the traveller assured himself that it really was the right place, he said a prayer of thanksgiving.
After the founder had made his thanksgiving, little Hilda offered up her prayer, the first of countless which were to follow in the centuries to come from devoted pilgrims who visited the Holy Shrine. It was while Fergus was looking round the site of the future church, that he, picking up a large stone, observed a tracery upon it in the shape of Mother and Child.
At once he realised that Our Lady had been honoured here before, and that it was her wish to have this place again for herself. The Maguire clan in Fermanagh had their own breed of cow called the Dun Cow. It was a cream coloured beast. Was it a coincidence that the cow in the story was a Dun Cow?
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Eighty percent of the town of Meulaboh in Aceh, Indonesia, was destroyed by the Tsunami waves and a similar percentage of the people died. This was one of the towns hit hardest but most of the Christian minority survived.
There were only about 400 Christians in Meulaboh. Naturally they wanted to celebrate Christmas, but they were not allowed to do so by the muslims of Meulaboh. In order to celebrate Christmas, they had to leave the town and went up into the hills inland.
Having moved away from their homes, they made it a day long celebration and stayed overnight on the hill. They were still there the next morning when the Tsunami struck killing thousands in the town below. The 400 Christians on the hill were all spared from the destruction that befell their muslim neighbours.
Had the Christians insisted on their rights to celebrate Christmas in the town they would have all died too.But because instead of being confrontational and going up into the hills to celebrate in peace, they were saved and can now testify to God’s marvellous protection. Their humility was key to them being saved.
A parish in Sri Lanka had a very similar escape. Instead of having Mass in their 3 parish churches that morning, they had an outdoor Mass at a grotto up on a hillside. But even then they should have been back down when the Tsunami struck, but that day the Priest went ‘on and on’ in his sermon. As a result only those who left before the end of Mass were caught up in the Tsunami. The 3 churches below in the town were completely destroyed.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Friday, 28 March 2008
One of the projects MIR is fundraising for is the street children in Mongolia and the mission of the CICM Fathers there. There are many thousands of abandoned children living in the sewers of Ulaan Baatar scratching a living from recycling bottles and cans, often in danger, and the CICM Fathers visit the manholes offering help. They also have a care centre/orphanage where they accomodate 120 children at present.
For more info, if you would like to help, see http://www.mirmedjugorje.org/
Thursday, 27 March 2008
And so the game moved into a new phase. I had a name for it by now. I called it the game of the Royal Way. I had discovered that when God supplied money He did it in a Kingly manner, not in some groveling way.
Three separate times, over the matter of the registered letter, I was almost lured from the Royal way. I was head of the student body and in charge of the schools tract fund. One day my eye lit first on the calendar, it was 28th December and then on the fund. It happened to contain several pounds just then. Surely it would be alright to borrow just one shilling.
And surely not, too. Quickly I put the idea behind me.
And then it was the 29th December. Two days left. That morning the thought occurred to me that perhaps I might find those pennies lying on the ground. I had actually put my coat on and started down the street before I saw what I was doing. I was walking along with head bowed, eyes on the ground, searching the gutter for pennies. What kind of Royal Way was this ! I straightened up and laughed out loud there on the busy street. I walked back to school with my head high, but no closer to getting the money.
The last round in the game was the most subtle of all. It was 30th December. I had to have my visa application in the post that day if it was to get to London by the 31st.
At 10 o’clock in the morning, one of the students shouted up the stairwell that I had a visitor. I ran down the stairs thinking this must be my delivering angel. But when I saw who it was my heart dropped. The visitor wasn’t coming to bring me money, he was coming to ask for it. For it was Richard, a friend I made months ago in the Patrick slums, a young man who came to the school occasionally when he needed money.
With dragging feet I went outside. Richard stood on the white-pebble walk-way, hands in pockets, eyes lowered, “Andrew, would you be having a little extra cash ? I’m hungry”
I laughed and told him my predicament and as I spoke, I saw the coin.
It lay among the pebbles, sun glinting off it in such a way that I could see it but not Richard. I could tell from its colour that it was a shilling. Instinctively, I stuck out my foot and covered the coin with my toe. Then, as Richard and I talked, I reached down and picked up the coin along with a handful of pebbles. I tossed the pebbles down, one by one, aimlessly, until at last I had just the shilling in my hand. But even as I dropped the coin into my pocket, the battle began.
That coin meant I could stay in school. I wouldn’t be doing Richard a favour by giving it to him: he’d spend it on drink and be as thirsty as ever within the hour.
While I was thinking up excellent arguments, I knew it was no good. How could I judge Richard when Christ had told me so clearly that I must not. Furthermore, this was not the Royal Way ! What right had an ambassador to hold onto money when another of the Kings children stood in front of him saying he was hungry. I shoved my hand in my pocket and drew out the silver coin.
“Look Richard, I do have this. Would it help any ?”
Richard’s eyes lit up. “it would mate”. He tossed the coin into the air and ran off down the hill. With a light heart that told me I had done the right thing, I turned to go back inside. And before I reached the door, the postman turned down our walk.
In the mail, of course, was a letter for me. I knew when I saw my sisters handwriting that it was from our prayer group back home and that there would be cash inside. And there was, a lot, a pound and a half, 30 shillings. Far more than I needed to send my letter; enough to buy soap, treat myself to my favourite toothpaste and buy Gillette supers instead of blues.
The game was over. The King had done it His way.