Sunday, 20 July 2008

Once more to the breach

Back from holiday with a bang! The first week back IS a shock: 120 emails, a pile of post and answerphone messages to be sorted. So apologies to those who've been waiting on tenterhooks to learn why administration is a spiritual gift.

But first I must tell you about a fun event we went to a week ago. It was the golden wedding celebration of our old friends, John and Mary Moore (see above). We met them 33 years ago in Buntingford, where we bought our first house. The celebration included a falconry display, hence the barn owl called Precious. When they retired from Hertfordshire, John and Mary came and settled in Abingdon, twenty minutes away, and we saw more of them. I write about them in my book, because John made a remarkable recovery from a brain tumour something like ten years ago - and he was able to reassure me about such unknowns as MRI scans when I was undergoing testing! They are quite inspirational.

As is Andrew White - and this is where we come to administration. Check this out! And this is only part of the story. Canon Andrew White, popularly known as the Vicar of Baghdad, is the Anglican chaplain in that city ( If you google him, you'll find out a lot about him, including the fact that he has MS. Although he'd never met me, he agreed to write a foreword for 'My Donkeybody' and did it brilliantly. We were anxious to meet, but he travels a lot and is incredibly busy, but we thought we might arrange it through our mutual friends, Anthony and Ruth Dunnett, sometime.

On Monday we had a phone call from a neighbouring vicar, Richard, saying Andrew was in his parish and could he talk? It so 'happens' that the British ambassador to Iraq lives in the area (unbeknown to me); it so happened that Andrew was visiting him with a group of teenagers from his church in Baghdad; it so happened in the course of conversation that Andrew mentioned his MS to Richard and Richard mentioned that a local vicar had MND....
'What's his name?'
'Michael what?'
'I must see him - now!'
And so within an hour there we were having tea, jaffa cakes and fellowship.

Now that's what I call a divine appointment. All arranged. My conclusion was that God is the supreme administrator. I suppose he would be since he runs a supremely complex universe. But to arrange a meeting like that so effortlessly as well - that is amazing attention to detail, communication and deployment of personnel. So if administration is one of God's attributes, it follows that it is a spiritual gift. QED.


  1. eeeshk kebab, good story!
    Worth the wait.

  2. IIRC Jesus used to keep people wondering a bit, for a while?
    To help us remember the point, perhaps!