All manner of things shall be well

Mark Hershberger writes about how, when he was 14 and working in an orphanage in Haiti, he wrote an impatient thank you card to one of the people who helped him go there, saying only:

I’ve been having a good time. I am having a good time. I will have a good time.

only to find out when he returned that the person had been touched by that positive note. I’m not surprised, since for me at least, it echoes one of the very few bits of Christian writing to have ever touched me. Dame Julian of Norwich was (probably, and insert that before every statement of fact written about her, since it’s hard to say what really happened during the 14th century) the author of the first book written in modern English by a woman, Showings, which details her visions while on her sickbed (probably from the Black Death, since there was certainly plenty of it about). The message of Showings is that all shall be well, which must have been a difficult vision to sustain during her time, but is so beautifully expressed that it still sings. In the passage that introduced me to her, quoted in The River Why, God tells her

I may 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 thou shalt see thyself that all manner of things shall be well.

If you know The River Why, yes, I do feel the hook twist whenever I read that.


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