This is my third post in a series, and to get the gist of what on earth I am talking about, best read the previous two posts (if you have the inclination and/or the stamina!)
One thing I have so far failed to mention was an event that happened towards the end of my first marriage. My friend and I had been going through really tough times. This particular weekend she and her two children were staying with me and the girls.
Neither of us had ever gone to church as adults, but this particular morning we were both amazed to discover that we had independently woken up with the thought “we should go to church today”. We did, we loved it, but we didn’t go back again. Another example of a missed opportunity!
The next significant event was that at the age of 16 my eldest daughter had been involved in a very serious motor cycle accident. When she was taken to the hospital she was in a very poorly state. The surgeon and his team operated on her lower body and legs for 8 hours all through the night. During that operation I kept taking myself off to a quiet area (the loo to be exact!) to meditate and will whatever power there was to get her through this.
After the operation the surgeon came to us and said that she would probably never walk again but, thanks to the team of experts that had responded to the call, she would more than likely survive. I will never forget his next words. “To call in a team of eight experts during the night, at short notice and for them all to respond is an unprecedented miracle. Without the whole team being available she would not have survived.”
All her leg and pelvic bones had been fractured, broken or shattered. In fact one of her thigh bones had been broken in 9 places. She was in hospital for 6 months where they gave her pain killers and sedatives. She said that they weren’t going to make a junky out of her and hid the pills under her tongue until she could spit them out. She used to hand me a tissue full of pills every day.
And when she was finally allowed home she was just as stroppy as she had been before the accident. Davy said the fact that her spirit had not been broken had been the real miracle! She was still in massive pain and in a wheelchair but Davy said she would walk again and with his encouragement and her determination little by little she did. She has one leg 2” shorter than the other and a slight limp, but apart from that you wouldn’t know that she had been through that trauma.
Fast track, it’s now 1979 and Davy, by the Grace of God and the power of AA, had not had a drink for 5 years but life was not all plain sailing. We had just gone into a recession. It may be a little known fact that in a recession the building trade is the first to go and the first to recover. Davy was a small builder and three jobs that he had scheduled to start were cancelled.
As my elderly mother, two daughters and two foster children were living with us we had responsibilities and money was hard to come by. One morning, in desperation, Davy went down on his knees and begged God to send him work. With that the telephone rang. One of the bosses from the local plumbing shop wanted an extension built! Amazing. But I still didn’t “get it".
Our two foster children had been, and were still were, going through very traumatic times and my good friend Bridie thought it might help them if we took them to a healing service at the local interdenominational church. So off we all trot.
After the service we were invited to step into an area set aside behind the alter where a priest was going to pray with the children. A nun stood behind the little girl and while we all looked on the priest laid hands on her. She began to sag and the nun gently assisted her to the ground where the priest, knelling beside her, began to pray. When the priest finished praying she stood up as though nothing had happened.
It was now the turn of her brother. The same thing happened – the priest placed laid hands on him, he sagged, the nun caught him, the priest prayed and then he got up as though nothing had happened.
Weird or what? And do you know the weirdest thing was that none of us thought it weird, not even the children! Bridie said they were “resting in the spirit”! Oh, well that’s alright then! They are now adults with children of their own and, considering what they went through, have turned out to be wonderful parents.
I had formed another terrific friendship with an elderly American AA lady called Jean who was the wife of a bigwig in the oil industry. One night he was at rock bottom to know what to do about his lovely wife who could not stop drinking. She was causing all sorts of problems and embarrassments with his staff and he had finally had enough. He went down on his knees and prayed “Lord I don’t know what to do for her any more, she is in your hands now”.
She was in another part of the massive penthouse suite they shared but she “felt” him do this. She loved and needed him but “feeling” his detachment terrified her so she went and begged him to take her to hospital because she wanted to stop drinking. He did, she got sober, joined AA, he joined Al-Anon and the rest, as they say, is history. Incidentally, she used to call her story “HIS STORY”, because she loved Jesus.
She had a very vibrant personality and when in a tricky situation would ask herself “what would Jesus do?” I was very attracted to her spiritual and simplistic approach to God .
But why am I telling you all this? I am paving the way, setting the scene if you like, for what happened next.