This morning early, while making my fruit salad, the sentence ‘All is well, all is well, all is very, very well’ continued playing through my mind.
I was suddenly reminded of a very beautiful booklet I read years ago, Enfolded in Love: Daily Readings with Julian of Norwich. Despite the name, Julian was a woman, later sainted by the Anglican church. She lived in the 14th-15th centuries, and her book Revelations of Divine Love, is believed to be the first book ever written by a woman in English. Here are a few statements which brought me such incredible peace, both in general and also in relation to Roger McGowen’s situation (see Messages of Life).
He will never let us go
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well
He is our clothing. In his love He wraps and holds us. He enfolds us for love, and He will never let us go.
He showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, in the palm of my hand, and it was as round as a ball. I looked at it with my mind’s eye and I thought, ‘What can this be?’
And the answer came, ‘It is all that is made’. I marvelled that it could last, for I thought it might have crumbled to nothing, it was so small. And the answer came into my mind, ‘It lasts and ever shall be because God loves it’. And all things have been through the love of God.
In this little thing I saw three truths. The first is that God made it. The second is that God loves it. The third is that God looks after it.
Rest in the goodness of God
What is He indeed that is maker and lover and keeper? I cannot find words to tell. For until I am one with Him, I can never have true rest nor peace. I can never know it until I am so close to Him that there is nothing in between.
The best prayer is to rest in the goodness of God, knowing that this goodness can reach right down to the lowest depths of need.
He who made man for love will by the same love restore him to his former blessedness – and yet more. The love that God most high has for our soul is so great that it surpasses understanding. No created being can comprehend how much, and how sweetly, and how tenderly our Maker loves us.
God is the still point at the centre
There is no doer but He. All this He showed me with great joy, saying ‘See, I am God. I am in all things. See, I do all things. See, I never take my hands off my work, nor ever shall, through all eternity. See, I lead all things to the end I have prepared for them. I do this by the same wisdom and love and power through which I made them. How can anything be done that is not well done?’
God wants us to know that He keeps us safe through good and ill. We shall see God face to face, simply and wholly.
He turns all things to the good
I saw in truth that God does all things, however small they may be. And I saw that nothing happens by chance but by the far-sighted wisdom of God. If it seems like chance to us, it is because we are blind and blinkered.
Constantly and lovingly He brings all that happens to its best end. All that is done is well done for it is done by God.
When a soul holds on to God in trust – whether in seeking Him or contemplating Him – this is the highest worship it can bring.
We are His joy, His reward, His glory, His crown. It is God’s will that we should rejoice with Him in our salvation, and that we should be cheered and strengthened by it.
He wants our soul to delight in its salvation, through His grace. For we are the apple of His eye; He delights in us forever, and we shall see in Him, by his grace.
We are forever safe
He says this: ‘Pray inwardly, even though you find no joy in it. For it does good, though you feel nothing, see nothing, yes, even though you think you cannot pray. For when you are dry and empty, sick and weak, your prayers please me, though there be little enough to please you. All believing prayer is precious to me.’
Sometimes it seems we have been praying for a long time and still do not have what we ask. But we should not be sad.I am sure that what our Lord means is that either we should wait for a better time, or more grace, or a better gift.
I saw that God never began to love mankind. For just as mankind is destined to come to endless joy, and so crown God’s delight in His work, so man in God’s thought has always been known and loved. From Him we come, in Him we are enfolded, to Him we return.
In this endless love, man’s soul is kept safe as these revelations set out to show. In this endless love we are led and looked after by God and never shall be lost.
When we fall, He holds us lovingly, and graciously and swiftly raises us up. In all this work, He takes the part of a kind nurse who has no other care but the welfare of her child. It is His responsibility to save us. It is His glory to do it, and it is His will we should know it. Utterly at home, He lives in us forever.
He did not say: ‘You shall not be tempest-tossed, you shall not be work weary, you shall not be discomforted’. But He said: ‘You shall not be overcome’. God wants us to heed those words so that we shall always be strong in trust, both in sorrow and in joy.