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Angels were present
Saturday 5th October 2019 @ 2:17 pm

There isn’t a day in my work as a chaplain in Trinity college where I don’t have some sort of conversation that is connected to Divine Life, meaning and hope.

In the midst of the planning, emailing, scheduling, logistical and committee work I have to do, it is these conversations of real life that enflame my soul.


One day recently I bumped into a student who had left college a few years ago. Previous to this the last I heard was that he been in a serious accident in another part of the world. I had sent him a message of support. Since then however, over a year ago, I was unaware of any circumstances.

Then, there he was, in front of me.


We arranged to meet later.

I wanted to hear his story.


Turns out his story was incredible. The story included being blindsided in a horrific way, suffering life–threatening injuries. The deepest of trauma. The story included an ambulance passing by at that precise moment. It also included being just minutes away from one of the world’s leading trauma–centre hospitals. It also included having in that hospital the most up to date machines which could do in minutes what it might have taken other hospitals hours to do. It also included a surgeon being on call who spoke the native language of this young man and his family – being of that origin himself.

And it also included an end point to the conversation that blew me away.


The end point was seeing this trauma as gift.


From the pit of a dark dark experience, this young man, just over a year from the accident that almost claimed his life, sits in front of me and speaks of how being faced with death has taught him kindness and patience, and has given him reflections on what matters in the world – and what doesn’t.

He no longer needs the high–flying career he once dreamed. He now speaks of the same career, but using that career for others, not himself. The things he suspected he ‘might’ be able to do ‘one day’ he now plans to make reality ‘today.’

It was a very deep pleasure to have him share his life and learning, to dream with him about his future, and to pray over him for his next steps. Sometimes – actually in my experience very very few times – you get to have a conversation where Divine Life whispers to you that this person had Angels present in a particular moment, for a reason. That’s not a theology I hold particularly deep or express often at all, yet it’s a wonderful thing to be faced through the realities of human relationship with people and circumstances that challenge and expand me, and fill me anew in different and unexpected ways.

It’s a beautiful thing to be expectant of Goodness with friends, and to walk forward alongside them knowing they will make the world a better place. May you also know protection in what you are walking through in these tiring and tough days. 



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