Posted by: drjamm | June 4, 2009

All shall be well

All shall be well
and all shall be well
and all manner of things shall be well.
– Dame Julian of Norwich

Julian.jpg image by timmatkin

My bank manager left a voice message for me today:”Hi, can you call me back — nothing urgent…” I was immediately anxious. Oh, I have a wonderful and friendly bank manager, so I did not have a problem with her “per se.” But she is in charge of our account, and while we have TODAY covered, — like many people — we do not know how many TOMORROWs we can cover. This uncertainty means that any call from our bank manger sets me on anxious alert. I tried to call her back three times today but she was not available. With no chance to resolve the unknown issue with my bank manger today, I will have to find a way to deal with my interior uneasiness and put it to rest before bed — or else forfeit my night’s sleep worrying over the call. Looking around for Spiritual resources to help with my worries, I have recalled the following three blessings in my day today.

My first blessing was that, lately, I have been regularly practicing singing the hymn, It is Well With My Soul written by Horatio Spafford. Repeatedly, I have found this song has been a soothing balm for my own Soul that is sometimes troubled with anxiety.  Horatio Spafford wrote this song in 1873 after he had just suffered multiple grievous losses. Far from a “Polyanna-look-on-the-bright-side” offering, this hymn is a testimony to Mr Spafford’s surrender to his almost unfathomable grief. His Surrender and Faith led him to a Divine Perspective and tremendous consolation where, at first, none seemed possible. If you wish, you can discover the heart-breaking and luminous story behind the creation of this song by watching the following YouTube clip:

My second blessing was that while driving around today, I was listening to the audiobook, Fingerprints of God: The search for the science of Spirituality in which author Barbara Bradley Hagerty quotes spiritual feminist, Dame Julian of Norwich (1342-1416),

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

Upon hearing this quote I was spell-bound by how closely the words of Dame Julian and Horation Spafford mirrored each other. After further research, I discovered that in her book,  Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love (the first book ever published in English by a woman), Dame Julian reported hearing her God-the-Mother-and-Father say:

I make all things well, and I can make all things well, and I shall make all things well, and I will make all things well; and you will see for yourself that every kind of thing will be well.

Julian+of+NorwichNow, I don’t know about you, but if I could hear Dame Julian’s God say these profoundly soothing words to me, all I would have to say is, “bring it on!” — especially today when I need to re-establish interior peace with my Self.

My third blessing today was a passage I read in, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith — one book in a series of gorgeous stories ultimately about how to love and respect Life and the many foibles of humanity. Today I read a passage where two characters part ways after a long and productive working relationship; and during their parting they say to each other Tsamaya sentle (Go Well) and Sala sentle (Stay Well). These are “mere words, of course,” writes Alexander McCall Smith, “but when meant, as now, so powerful.” Go Well and Stay Well — ancient words from another culture which, also, express a message — a wish — that Divine Wellness journeys with each Soul.

Tonight my homework to my Self — homework designed to help me regain my inner peace in time for a restful sleep —  is to contemplate my remarkably similar three “spiritual blessings” all of which converged to help me reflect on this day.  Please wish me contemplative success and a peaceful sleep.

May you Go Well, and Stay Well, and always know “all will be well.” Amen.

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*******       bright heart singing                              credits and links             *******
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Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of SpiritualityBook credits: (1) Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love by Dame Julian of Norwich; and (2) Fingerprints of God: The search for the science of Spirituality, by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, http://www.amazon.ca/Fingerprints-God-Search-Science-Spirituality/dp/1400112109/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244158326&sr=1-3 or see her web page:The Revelation of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings Made to Dame Julian of Norwich: Made to Dame Julian of Norwich http://barbarabradleyhagerty.com/content/index.asp (3) The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith. http://www.randomhouse.com/features/mccallsmith/main.php

Quote credits: (1) I found the top most quote by Dame Julian of Norwich on the Speaking of Faith blog authored by Krista Tippet and her staff, http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/recovery/particulars.shtml (2) I found the quote about the words that Dame Julian of Norwich (written about in Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love (p. 229)) heard spoken from God on the blog,  authored by Patrick Comerford Dublin of Ireland: http://revpatrickcomerford.blogspot.com/2008/09/all-shall-be-well-and-all-manner-of.html (3) I found the African words for “go well” and “stay well” in The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith, p. 70

Image credits –  (1) I found the Dame Julian of Norwich portrait on the blog, “TimThe Good Husband of Zebra Driveothoes Proligizes:”  http://timotheosprologizes.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_archive.html ; (2) I found the Dame Julian and cat image from the blog, Parish of Walthamstow: http://parishofwalthamstow.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/prayer-focus-all-shall-be-well-lady-julian-of-norwich/

bright heart singing, copyright 2009 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.) https://brightheartsinging.wordpress.com


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Responses

  1. Simplicity is what I crave and in “All will be well” I find it.

  2. I rewrote some of the words for “It Is Well With My Soul” for a memorial service a few years ago. Just couldn’t quite go with the sin/Satan/nailed to the cross imagery for this wonderful UU woman who had requested that hymn. Just a thought…

    Are you familiar with the work of Meg Barnhouse, a UU minister and mistrel? She has a signature song based on Julian’s wise words.

  3. I would love to read your new words. And I am keen to follow-up on your suggestion to check out Meg Barnhouse. DO you have a specific link?

    many thanks for taking the time to comment.
    cheers
    Jessica


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