I know where I am, and I know where I’m going. I’m in the back of a minibus. A driver and a co-driver are transferring me from the hospital in Cardiff back to the Deva in Chester. I’m unsure if my mind is sound or not, although I seem to be thinking clearly… a bit.
I remember the Light. Astonishingly there are moments when I forget.
Can the mad genuinely believe?
Did it actually happen? Was it real, or was it a product of my madness? Can mad men and women hold genuine belief and faith?
Am I mad now ? I don’t know. There’s a strange feeling in my head.
When I’m next on leave I’ll visit Father Edmund again.
I glance down and see what looks like a trumpet case on the floor near the back door of the minibus. I open it, and yes, there is a trumpet. I take it out and look at it. A Yamaha. They always make great instruments.
Why then, do I get this incredibly strong urge to throw this beautiful shining instrument through the open window out onto the freely-flowing M6?
It is fortunate that the window will only open two inches or so. I try the back door, but I can’t throw the trumpet out because the door is locked. I realise that this is also fortunate. There can be no doubt that it wouldn’t just be the instrument that exited the bus, but the instrument-thrower himself, and my attempts at flight haven’t worked… so far.
In the presence of something awesome
I’ve tried praying. I’m pretty good at talking to people, but I’m not great at talking to God, even though I met him once. I remember the love, the power, the beauty. And the beauty of the golden jewelled ring, but what does it all mean?
It is still clear in every rich detail.
Father Edmund thought the light might have been Jesus. The only thing I’m sure of is that for those few moments I’d been in the presence of something awesome. Had that something been God?
But why has God singled me out for this vision, someone who hasn’t even asked for it, or even ever acknowledged him? I have no idea.
“So, Marc, Have you thought any more about the spiritual side of things, prayer, for instance?”
“I don’t know how to. Someone suggested buttering God up and then slotting in a couple of requests while he’s receptive.”
“What do you think of that?”
“It doesn’t seem right.”
“Well, he’s making out that God has a massive ego that needs massaging all the time. I’ve never believed in Him until recently. Now I do, I just don’t think he’s like that.”
“Quite. Marc, it takes a little while to get used to praying. It took me ages. Try to imagine that you’re talking to him, conversationally… about anything. Try it, it’ll come.”
Praying for money
“So. Let’s say I’m short of money and I pray for some. Does a big cheque drop through the letter box the next day?”
“It can happen that way sometimes, but it’s more likely that God will answer our prayers in a subtle way. Money for instance. Over a period of time he might guide you into controlling your available money better without necessarily giving you more. But the effect on your wealth would be the same.”
“So the things I pray for won’t always happen.”
“Maybe not. But in the Bible Jesus promises that he will hear us. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened to you. He answers every prayer, but his answer isn’t always the one we’ve asked for.”