Monthly Archives: November 2014

Children – the greatest in the kingdom

Yvonne roseAfter meditation with a group of friends this morning we began talking about children. Quite specifically, it was about how lovely they are to be around and that there was a reference in the Bible as to how Jesus saw them. None of us knew quite where this reference was so I decided to find out.

It is in Matthew where we are told that we have to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.

We may consider taking a moment to contemplate what this last sentence means in relation to ourselves. It is my observation that many, many of us possess this natural child-like innocence and because of its nature it is not apparent to us. That’s what makes it so lovely!

Here are Matthew’s words.

1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Matthew 18:1-5

He also wrote:-
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:14

I have been touched by the recent ABC TV programme Outback Choir. Not only because it is a heartwarming story about one woman’s mission to bring music to the outback, but by the humility and beauty of the children it profiles. Their soul’s shine brightly, through their innocence. Exactly what I am saying – they are lovely to be around. Watch it if you can.

The power of prayer

IMG_5010I love this story because it is true.

A car crash leaves her with a shattered body. She is pinned behind the wheel, her body bloody, limp, smashed.  The highway is now clogged with traffic. Cars are unable to move in any direction. Everyone sits in their vehicles waiting for the police, the ambulances, the tow trucks. So they can start driving again and get to work, get to that appointment, get the kids to school, get on with their lives. How long will it take?

She is so traumatised she has a near death experience and finds herself above the scene, looking down on everyone. She can hear what people in the cars behind her crumpled vehicle are saying. They are all sounding impatient and grumpy that they are held up. Except one. Someone is praying for her. She knows this because from one of the cars she can see a stream of blue light rising upward toward heaven and back down into the body in the crashed car – her body. In the car she can see a woman praying for her and she has the presence of mind to memorise the number plates of this woman’s car. All of a sudden she is ‘told’ it is not her time to die and to return to her body, which she does. She survives.

After many months of recovery she is able to use the information from the number plates to find out where the woman who prayed for her lives.  She buys a beautiful bunch of flowers and knocks on her door. The woman she had seen all those months ago opens the door.

And she says to her, “Thank you. Thank you for praying for me.”

A couple of weeks ago a friend told me the story I have just told you. My friend had heard the story from someone who had heard it from someone. It is my understanding the woman in the car accident shared her experience with Carolyn Myss who wrote about it on her website. I surmise this is from where the retelling of the story may have started, however I don’t really know. It may have been told by the woman who survived to many others who have retold it. In any case it is being shared all over the planet and I am grateful that it is.

As my friend told the story I saw it unfold in my mind’s eye. I saw the blue light as it travelled from the woman who was praying to the woman who was dying, via heaven. And I felt glad. I cannot explain why or how this happened yet as I was listening to the story I felt the benefit of the woman’s prayers. I connected with the love that prompted her to pray for another in an accident. I felt at peace, I felt empowered and I felt strong. And I too said, ‘Thank you.’

Such is the power of prayer.

And Jean said, ‘this is my friend’

IMG_9642Many years ago a young woman, about twenty years old, went into a church and knelt down on a little wooden platform to pray. To pray to God, to pray to Jesus, to pray the way as a Christian she had been taught to pray.

She sat there on her knees with her hands in front of her head and chest and she asked God for happiness for herself and for everyone else.

There was real integrity in her request. She was not asking because she just felt like it or because someone told her what to do. She did it because she wanted to.

She knelt like this for about twenty minutes, then got up. As she did so she saw an older woman standing near her. She recognised her because she had seen her in the church before but she didn’t know who she was.

“Can I join you?” said the older woman.
The younger woman replied: “Oh well, yes, but I have just finished and I have to go.”

Then the older woman said: “Do you mind staying with me for another two or three minutes? I want to tell you something.”
The younger woman replied: “Yes, of course, what do you want to tell me?”

Both women sat on a bench inside the church and the atmosphere was beautiful. They were the only two people in the church at that moment. There in that peace and quiet the younger woman heard the story of the older woman who had been through a huge amount of pain and suffering with her family. Huge. By the time she finished, in quite a compassionate way, the younger woman said to the older woman: “Why did you tell me all these stories? Why?”
The older woman looked at her and didn’t actually know what to say, and answered: “Well I don’t really know but I felt that you were the person that I would like to tell my story to.”

In that moment, the younger woman experienced a moment of fear and a moment of love. Her fear came from her thinking: “Why does somebody need to tell me all these very, very difficult things?”, and her love came from her thinking: “I really feel close to this woman.”
She thought to herself: ‘Shall I leave or should I stay with her?’ She said:
“Would you like me to stay with you?”
The older woman replied: “Yes.”
Everyday for the next three months or so the younger woman went to the church and the older woman came and told her the story of her very, very sad life with her family.

One day the younger woman said: “Do you think there is anything you still wish to tell me? “
And the older woman said to the younger woman: “No, but you taught me something very important, you taught me about friendship. You taught me that I can have a friend in my life.”
The younger woman looked at her with very big tears in her eyes and said: “As you have learned about it I have done the same. As you learn about friendship, I learn about friendship. Thank you for all that. I have learned quite a lot from you.”
The older woman looked at the younger woman and said: “Without you I would never, never, never have an idea that I can have actually a friend as I never had any friends.”

The two women left the church. The younger woman never saw the older woman again because a week later she died. She died from a heart attack or something. She wasn’t old, but she died. And at her funeral the young woman sat in the church and thought herself: ‘I lost a friend but I learned what it means to be a friend.’

I am telling you this story because last week ago my 89 year old friend Jean went to ‘live’ in an aged care facility. I don’t know if her stay is going to be permanent, I don’t think anyone does, but as her medical team told Jean ‘it is time’, she agreed to ‘give it a try’ as she has great difficulty walking. From the waist up she is a trickster, but those legs and right hip of hers are another story entirely. Jean was born in her house and I could understand that she was reluctant to leave it.

I started helping Jean a little more than a year ago. She lives across the road from me. She lives alone as her husband George, who passed away last year, had been in a nursing home (the same one she has gone to) for nine years. Her family are loving and supportive – food purchased, washing done, house  cleaned. Although Jean received a hot meal at lunchtime every week day from her local Meals on Wheels service, I became aware that she was making herself a sandwich for dinner because she could not operate her microwave oven as she has Macular degeneration of the eyes and her hands shook as she has Parkinson’s disease. So I offered to come over every evening (when I could) to pop a frozen meal in the microwave for her.  I felt this was an easy thing for me to do and I believe this is what members of a community might do for each other. She accepted my offer and as the months went by I sat with her at her little kitchen table while she ate her dinner and told me her stories. After dinner I would help her put her ‘patches’ on and administer eye drops or change a dressing on her legs. She was always bumping those legs!

She was always so very grateful – and often gave me ‘points’ for how much I had helped her that evening. I laughed about that and inquired what I had to do to get four points as it never seemed to get above two! That trickster in her never told me.

As the months passed by I found myself acknowledging and actively welcoming the energy of friendship with Jean into my life. I accepted her as she was, I did not judge her and I did not want anything at all from her and I am happy that I have connected with this very, very deep part of myself. I did not intend it, force it or push it, it simply happened. An example of embracing life’s experiences and not trying to control them.

I visited Jean the day after she went to her new abode. She was with a group having morning tea and she introduced me to the group by saying: “This is my friend Ruth.”