Letters - 3 August 2018

From Mined for peace of mind to Money matters

Mined for peace of mind

Random thoughts have brought me to the passing but persistent influence of three people in my life, whose own lives were full of a sustaining and rich interior strength. Towards the end of their lives two of these lived in Yorkshire and one in Cornwall. All were widows.

One, the mother of a school friend and ten other children, had lived a very Quakerly life, and with much hardship. We hadn’t met for forty years, but she recognised and welcomed us to her cottage as close friends.

Another, in the same valley, saw us admiring a picture on the wall when we called in.  She said: ‘Please have it’. We still do.

The third, my aunt, lived in a pretty house near where, as a family, they used to sail in earlier days. Alone and blind, she was full of ‘how good life was’. Judging only from the position of our voices; she said: ‘Yes that is a lovely picture, isn’t it?’ when we had gone closer to admire it. Although she could no longer see it, it was still part of her life.

All three were managing on memories – but, more than managing, they were maintaining a serenity to pass onto others.

Having been beset with problems for over a year, when the feeling (probably wrongly) is that no person can help and God is rather far away, I am learning (too slowly) by such examples how the richness of inner experiences can be mined for peace of mind.

Carol Holding

Evidence and energy

I am writing in response to the article ‘Evidence?’ by Sheila Semple (20 July).

When I was in my forties we moved into a village in Hampshire where I started to attend the parish church. The rector encouraged and challenged his congregation to look more deeply into the Christian faith to ‘ask, seek and knock’. This I did.

Some two years on I was reading in bed when I suddenly became aware of what I can only describe as a blast of energy, like the rays of the sun but without the light and heat.

That energy was pure love. It nearly overwhelmed me – it was so intense. From that moment I knew ‘God’ loved me absolutely and completely. For the first time in my life I was able to respond as much as any human can.

This power came from outside. I could feel it embracing me. My wife was asleep and oblivious to all this. This inrush continued for about half an hour and then gently faded. I turned off the light and went to sleep. Next morning the memory of it all was very strong. How I got through that day without an accident – driving almost six inches above the ground, or so it seemed – I don’t know.

The realisation that I was (am) loved to the uttermost will stay with me forever. I will not have or need that experience again. The grace of God once realised should be sufficient until I meet my maker.

David Winter

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