November 2018 I was doing a gratitude post and one of the items I posted about was a saying from Julian of Norwich
It is a quote that has carried me through many difficult times and one that has been running through my head even now. I keep trying to remind myself that "All shall be well" and that God is in control of this whole situation right now.
Well... that's certainly easy to believe when we are looking at this lovely picture above. A nice dirt road with trees all around. It looks easy and serene. I feel at peace looking at this and can say "All shall be well!"
But what about when the picture looks like this?
Hmmm.... well... that looks a little different. Not so easy to feel "All shall be well" when you're sitting in the midst of a fire. When you feel the world is burning around you, saying "All shall be well" feels trite and unrealistic. I sent this meme to a friend and colleague of mine, Derek. He's a wealth of knowledge about... well, everything! I enjoy my conversations with him because I also learn something. So I sent him this silly little meme because I thought he would appreciate it. And he did. But as it always happens, Derek was able to enlighten me a bit more about why these words are so powerful.
When Julian of Norwich wrote the words "All shall be well" the world was not well. Derek shared with me the context in which St. Julian wrote these words and I asked if I could share them with all of you. "I know you intended light humor, but being the nerdy historian I am I’ve just got to say modern folks have a rough time with adversity. Julian of Norwich’s backstory: Julian was 6 when the Black Death killed up to half the population; she was sick unto death when (at your age--31) she saw her visions of Christ. At about the age of forty the Peasants Revolt broke out - total social breakdown and chaos. She spent most of her life isolated as an anchorite. It was in the face of these challenges she uttered those words. Having lived most of my life imaginatively in her world I can feel her hand upon my shoulder and know the truth of these words."
If anyone may not have been feeling that all shall be well... it was Saint Julian. But she still wrote these words because her faith in the Risen Christ helped her to cemented it in her own mind. Because of her belief that Christ would carry her through times of sickness, isolation, and revolutions her own faith was strengthened.
Dear Body of Christ, know that even though things don't feel very "well" right now, we know that we will be carried through this time and they will feel "well" in the future.
Gabe Dixon Band wrote a song called "All Will Be Well" and it has become one of my favorites. The chorus is this:
"All will be well,
Even after all the promises
You've broken to yourself.
All will be well,
You can ask me how
But only time will tell."
I don't know what the future is going to look like. I don't know how long this physical distancing is going to last. But what I do know... is this:
God of Life, God of Comfort, God of Wholeness, we are grateful for the lives of the Saints that have come before. We give thanks for St. Julian as she teaches us that in our reliance on you, All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. Help us to hold on to the promise that Sunday is coming. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.