It was grey and miserable and wet outside today but one of my volunteer chaplains had an idea. It was a very simple one and to be honest I wasn’t too sure how it would work. It just sounded all a bit too simple.
Her idea was that we could write a message for people on postcards, something on the lines of what God thinks of them, perhaps.
So we set up a couple of plinth’s with our postcards and pens ready to write some ‘postcards’ from heaven. I with one of my volunteers and two of my team the other side of the cathedral square. We met a few people and had some fun sharing the love of God. One lady thanks us and says, ‘I’m so pleased that I stopped and spoke with you, thank you so much.’
After half an hour I glanced up to check on the two chaplains across the square and as I do I saw a man with them fall over backwards and one of my chaplains spring into action to catch him before he landed on the wet floor. She’s waving me to come over so I sprint (OK, I ran as fast as I could) across the square to make sure everything is all right and to check to see what had happened.
It turned out that the man had been prayed for, no one had touched him or laid hands on him, he only asked for some prayer and well, then he fell over. We helped him up and he sat on the steps shaking and to be honest he looked petrified. I asked him if he was ok and he nodded. He kept closing his eyes and putting his hands together like a child would in a school hall assembly finishing with prayers. His girlfriend who was with him looked worried and I asked her if she knew what was happening. In her broken english she explained that she had never seen anything like it before and wondered asked what was happening. A member of the public stopped and asked if she should phone for an ambulance.
After a while we went into our base, the ancient church of St John the Baptist with them and sat talking as best we could considering the language barrier. The young man spoke about starting a-new. He was fairly overwhelmed by his experience. He had been brought up a Catholic but hadn’t been to mass for a long time or spoken or considered God for years. He spoke about God visiting him out there on the streets. Quite a scary experience.
As well as talking about this experience we helped him and his girlfriend through phoning up the dentists for them (they both needed an apointment as they both had tooth ache.)
We also gave them numbers of different organizations that could help them practically. We also prayed for them once more. Before they left the young man went and knelt in the aisle to pray for a minute. Bowing in prayer.
On reflection, while I must admit this was quite a bizarre occurrence it seems as if God met with him in the most powerful way. For him on the streets it seemed as if he received a new life, dramatically touched by God that spoke to him more than words ever could have.