Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Best Birthday Present

Last Sunday we went over to Adrian and Marion’s charming cottage for a belated birthday meal. Their gift to me was this lovely Willow Tree figure – the Angel of Caring


Marion has just been commissioned as a Street Pastor, working with a team in Norfolk. The SP’s are certainly ‘Angels of Caring’ – bringing support and comfort to those on the streets…

  • A warm drink for a homeless person.
  • A pair of flip-flops for an unsteady girl who can no longer walk in her stilettos.
  • A bar of chocolate to calm rising aggression
  • A friendly ear or a shoulder to cry on.

She asked if I’d ever considered becoming a Street Pastor. Well, yes, I have thought about it, but for various reasons feel it is not the right thing for me at the minute [my body clock means I am a lark, not a night owl, and believe I can serve God more effectively by preaching at 10am rather than pastoring at 2am!]

“Can I be a ‘Blog-Pastor’ do you think?” I speculated, and told Marion some of the amazing encounters that have come out of writing Tracing Rainbows.

In March, I had an email from someone who reads my blog. It was quite out of the blue, and I don’t think this person had ever commented on any posts. But she was at absolute rock bottom, with a major problem. She just wanted to share it with somebody.

I was really concerned – it was late at night - I had only gone to the PC to switch it off when I saw the message. I replied promptly with some words of encouragement, and the assurance that Bob and I would pray and I asked where the person lived.

globeI went to bed that evening with a heavy heart. Had I said the right thing? Was this person near enough for me to go and visit in person? They could be anywhere in the world – I know that people in France, Canada, USA, NZ, Oz, Italy and India read this blog.

There was a reply the following evening – thanking me for the support, and telling me the location. It was too far for me to go. BUT – and this is the wonder of blogland – I have a good friend in that very city. I emailed her

“I can’t go into details, but please send me some websites of places in your city who could give good support to somebody with this particular problem….”

And within minutes I had received a comprehensive reply [thanks]

I sent the details off to my new friend. And received a brief thank you. We kept on praying. I sent an Easter e-card. But for three weeks I heard nothing. But we kept on praying.

And then, on the afternoon of my birthday we got back to Cornerstones after our trip out with Liz and Jon. They prepared a meal whilst I checked my emails. And there was a reply from the person who had originally contacted me on March 19th. Loss of internet access at home had meant she had been unable to contact me over Easter.

But she had begun to get things straightened out, and see a way through the problems, and the links I had passed on from my other friend had been helpful. She felt there was light at the end of the tunnel, and things were not as bleak as she had at first thought.

I was so thrilled – I rushed in to the other room and told the family that our prayers had been answered.

“That” said Jon “Is your BEST present today, Ang”

I couldn’t agree more.

I am so grateful for the good friend who gave me the info I needed without asking any questions – and to Bob who joined me in praying for this distressed person – and to God for helping to alleviate her distress. And I continue to pray that her situation will improve.

Live creatively, friends. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. Galatians 6;2


  1. How wonderful to be able to reach out and help like this,Ang, and thanks be to God that your prayers were answered. The internet has, in many ways, separated us, as we plug into our own individual devices, but also, it has meant that people in need can reach out in this way. Although I've not met them, I know I have made some good friends through blogging and through Ship of Fools. But don't underestimate your part in this too - through your lovely, funny,honest blog this person was able to trust that you were the kind of good friend who would listen(electronically speaking!!) and reach out to her/him in heir need. Thank you for that, and,personally speaking,for your blog which often challenges me to think about things more deeply, or in a new way. God bless you and Bob. Dormouse xx

  2. You've lifted my spirits more than once with the right words at the right time- you're so very much appreciated by me. x

  3. I second what scarlet says. You are selfless and such a good person x God bless you x

  4. Wonderful.
    I had a similar experience from someone who said they had no faith so would I pray for them instead. We emailed a lot and some weeks later she emailed to say that she was on holiday, the situation had been resolved and she had just come out of a cathedral where she had lit a candle for me.
    I think we can be "wherever pastors".

  5. This is fabulous to read. You are, as Dormouse has so beautifully said, fabulous to read. Here's praying for the journey ahead for your contact.

  6. "Live creatively, friends!" How wonderful, how creative - 'Wherever pastors', as Lynn is saying here. I'm so touched by this story, Ang, and can think of other people you have blessed by blogging openly but positively, and by 'going the extra mile' when people have contacted you. It all comes so naturally to you and that is partly who you are but mainly, I suppose, your trust that God will lead you to whatever situation he wants you to be in next. I know that blogging both feeds my faith in my 'exile' situation and gives me chances to share it. Thanks for being part of it!

  7. Fabulous story and just shows that there are many different ways to reach out to people in God's name and show His love. In this day and age I think that a 'Blog Pastor' is a brilliant idea.


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