To Die For


“Issy are you okay?”

I pulled at Issy’s arm. She was pale and shivering.

“Did you see that figure?”Her voice was barely audible.

Nodding, I still felt the coldness, the sensation of my skin crawling as the figure got closer. The tight knot in my stomach as pure evil crawled invisibly from what seemed to be a man, through the air towards me. I remembered with relief the instant release, when I suddenly understood this evil could not harm me. Warmth spread from within my chest and peace came back into my spirit.

Issy was smiling, “You can feel it as well?” She was speaking about the incredible calm and peace. It was like a blanket around us.

Turning to walk away, it seemed as though I lifted into the air.

“What just happened Issy?”

I opened my eyes as I spoke. Issy was beside me, sat next to me, at our favourite spot beside the quarry.

“That was awesome Joseph!” Issy laughed. “I feel different. Something’s different deep inside me.”

Putting my hand over my chest, I could feel my heart pounding and a fluttering sensation, and for a split second I heard the whisper, “You’re having a heart attack!” Then in an instant came reassurance from inside, and again the wonderful, peaceful feeling soaked into every part of me and I smiled at Issy.

“Today’s a red letter day Issy. Nothing’s ever going to be the same again!”

In that instant they both felt Ruach, a rising surge of power so strong, He made them both tremble.


Who is she to be shown things so awesome?

Yet there she was getting on with her life, unsure if the experiences were real or merely a strange combined dream, shared with Joseph, her best friend. All that was seen, all that was experienced, had dissipated into fragments of memories so bizarre neither referred to them in case the other had rationalized or forgotten.

How quickly human minds move from a place of certainty to the paralysis of unanswered questions. This mutes the inquisitive voice, causing dumbness, allowing the deception of freedom to operate from the safety of human boundaries.

Issy was now fifteen years old. The last thing she needed was to be was different.

At some point, her life had lost its mystery and zest. Her life had become mundane, without purpose. She would open ‘The Book’, knowing it had power, but then the voices in her head would whisper,

“You are so silly, of course there’s no power. What an active imagination!”

The Rakiyl were busy.

Although, Issy never managed to rationalize exactly where, ‘The Book’ had come from.

Issy could see that Mel had a strange and sometimes bizarre purpose to her life. The crowd she chose to hang out with were “oddballs”.  Her Dad said they were eccentric.

It was one of these, Simon, who gave Issy a glimmer of truth. The mist before her eyes was punctured. Through the tiny hole crept the beginnings of a thought, a memory stirring.

Tabbach Shamir had called for help. Sar Iyer despatched two Luminar for permanent assignment with Issy and Joseph. Their ‘brief’ was to bring their charges back into the place of Spiritual power.

Issy had gone to her room. It was a hot sticky afternoon and she intended to do some sketching. She was just sorting out her pencils when the doorbell buzzed.

Mel pounded down the stairs. There was laughter, but suddenly it switched to the earnest loudness of a very angry Mel.

“You’re pathetic! Say you love me yet won’t budge from your principles! Your beliefs! You’re just a clone, a puppet of your Mum and Dad. “

“No I’m not! I’m my own man, I think what I want, do what I want”

“Well you got two choices. Stay ‘n join us or clear off! What’s it gonna be?”

“Ok! Ok! I’ll stay!”

Issy recognized Simon’s voice.  His family belonged to their church but Simon had stopped coming to the youth meetings and Issy hardly saw him anymore.

The bedroom windows were wide open, as were all the windows in the house. It was July, the middle of a heat wave. The voices in Mel’s room were clear, not only through the wall but as they shot onto the airwaves hitting the blistering sunshine outside. Chad and Alexander were already in her room.

“Well well, look who’s here. Hiya Simon”.

“Hope you brought spare “jocks”! Might not cope with what’s gonna go down here this affo!”

Loud raucous laughter blasted Issy’s eardrums.

Issy hoped the other four weirdoes would not turn up as well, but minutes later, the doorbell rang.

Simon was berated yet again as they entered Mel’s room.

“Leave him alone! We’re wastin’ time.”

Mel silenced them.

Issy propped herself up on her elbows, curiosity heightening her senses.

“Can you hear us? Are you there? Give us a sign.”

“Show us, let us see. We’re ready.”

This strange incantation made by Chad reverberated around the whole house, its echo pushing into every corner. Hairs on the back of Issy’s neck and arms responded as she physically shuddered with revulsion. The words, although not particularly startling had evoked a chill, as if they themselves were releasing something terrible into the atmosphere.

“Rip it off him. Get it out of here”. This voice was not human.

Simon shouted, “NO! NO!” Then he screamed. Issy heard Mel’s bedroom door handle hit the wall and then slam back. Heavy footsteps were running down the stairs. The front door opened. Silence.

The chill in Issy’s room became so uncomfortable she leapt off the bed and fled outside into the garden and the warm sunshine. She felt contaminated, dirty. Her skin was crawling with icy rivulets of unseen green vapour.

Issy found Simon in the garden. He was slumped under the Horse chestnut tree. Simon’s shoulders were convulsing, he was whimpering and mouthing the words,

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Over and over again.

He had nasty burns and grazing on his neck.

“Are you ok Simon?” Issy put a hand on his arm.

“I’m sorry. Shouldn’t have done it. I’m sorry.” Simon was shaking his head.

“Who are you saying sorry to Simon?”

“He’s so beautiful Issy. I’ve let Him down. I’ve done something so awful by taking part.”

Issy’s head whipped up and she focussed her whole being on Simon.

“Who’s beautiful Simon?”

“He is. I’ve been blocking Him out.”

Familiarity washed over Issy. In that one sentence, Simon had described the past year.

The Luminar were smiling. Tabbach Shamir was relieved. In the spirit realm the three danced with joy.

The Rakiyl were busy whispering in Issy’s ear, trying to remove and discredit any memory.

Issy could hear the words shouting in her head even now. They blocked the peace she had found on that amazing day the previous year. The words made the peace slip away. The words blotted out His image of beauty. The words had robbed her of her dream.

A shard of light touched her soul and she found herself saying,

“I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry. Help me, please help me.”

Tabbach Shamir rushed to Issy’s side.

Two bodies only feet apart, two souls crying out in unison, yet, no longer aware of each other.

Issy had no idea how long she had been lying, face down, tears pouring from her eyes. When she raised her face, she discovered that Simon was gone.

She walked, heavy hearted and with a weariness that caused her bones to hurt. Gently closing her bedroom door, she lowered herself onto the bed.

Reaching for ‘The Book’, which had been slipped out of sight in her bedside drawer, she settled her mind and began to read.

She found words to speak aloud that caused the chill in the air, still lingering from whatever Mel and her friends had been doing, to vanish. The house felt safe, secure, no longer frightening. Issy spoke out more words, they instantly stopped the voices that had been whispering doubt, blocking memory and experience for the past year. These words released her mind. Her thoughts were once more in her own command.

Peace and calmness permeated every cell in her body.

Issy closed her eyes. When she opened them, He was there, smiling.

“Welcome back Issy, I’ve been waiting for you.”

She gasped at His beauty.

Part of Josephs mind wanted to move away from the thoughts of the water, the great wave. He did not want to dwell on what had happened. It was a huge relief that Issy seemed to feel the same and even though it had been the most incredible shared experience, there was a silent agreement to avoid the subject.

It was almost imperceptive, but as time passed, he doubted the very reality of it all. Even his dream about the ladder stopped.

The Rakiyl were whispering.

Life was not easy for Joseph. His Dad and brother were inexhaustible, they found so many ways to humiliate and punish Joseph. Life was miserable.

Joseph’s Dad and brother were being manipulated by Shaden.

Shimrack Shamir was close to Joseph, but Joseph could no longer feel him. Joseph was listening to the Rakiyl.

Now Issy was restored the Luminar were concentrating on Joseph, eager to pull him back too.

Joseph and Issy helped at a local Nursing Home, carrying out errands and generally helping the staff and patients. It was a wonderful place filled with laughter even though the people who moved in there were often terminally ill.  Joseph’s Dad and brother berated him for wasting time on “sickoes”. They piled on the work in case he decided to neglect his many chores in their house and garden.

Joseph ’s break through back into truth happened a few weeks after Issy. He felt uncomfortable listening to her speak about what had happened to her the day she found Simon in the garden under the tree. At times, in his head, he would think to himself, “She’s got really weird!” He would wonder why he wanted to hang out with her.

The Rakiyl were delighted.

Unceremoniously Joseph was tipped out of his bed.

“Hey pig face, get yerself outta this pit n clear the yard.” Joseph’s brother yanked his arm and pushed him fiercely down the stairs.

In the yard was a pile of rubbish. Foxes had ransacked the dustbin during the night and the tiny lawn at the front of the house was strewn with tins, paper, and every imaginable form of one week’s household discarding. His Dad, laughing at Joseph standing bewildered in his pyjamas, grabbed two more bags from the neighbour’s side and tipped their contents onto the already disgusting, smelly mess. He then picked up the bucket full of food waste, and with singular accuracy lobbed the putrid mixture all over Joseph.

Joseph began to painstakingly remove and re-bag, hounded constantly by taunts from Eric who would sneak behind Joseph and empty the bags all over again. Eventually brother and Dad got bored with it all and went off to the Legion Arms for a pint.

Joseph was late getting to the Home, Issy was just leaving.

“Hi Joseph, bye Joseph, I’ve got to go and help my Mum with the shopping. See you.”

Issy whisked passed him and was gone.

One of the nursing staff called to Joseph, “Hi Joseph, good to see you. Mr. Dolby’s been askin’ for you. He’s in bed today ‘cos he’s not so good.”

Joseph nodded, “Is it ok to go up Laura?”

“Yes but don’t stay too long, his wife’s coming later.”

“Promise I won’t tire him.” Joseph made his way down the corridor and tapped gently on Mr. Dolby’s door.

“That you Joseph?” Mr. Dolby had a quiet voice but today Joseph noticed that his tone was urgent and excited.

“Yep it’s me. I’m later than usual I got a bit held up. Laura said you’d been askin for me.”

“Come in Joseph,” he pointed to the chair next to his bed,“ sit here, I’ve lots’ to share with you.”

Settling into his pillows Mr. Dolby began to speak.

“I’ve had a great life Joseph, n I’m really excited ‘bout this next bit. Dyin’s gonna be my best adventure yet. From bein’ a nipper I’ve had this friend who’s always looked out for me. I’ve spent some marvellous times with Him. Happiest moments ever. Can’t describe Him to you He’s just so beautiful.” Mr. Dolby paused and smiled.

Joseph looked at him and felt the finger of familiarity probing deep into his buried memories. He leaned forward eager to hear more.

Shimrath Shamir and the Luminar looked at each other and smiled.

“I first got to meet Him when I was just seven. I had a bad accident; a car ran off the road and knocked me off my bike. Docs reckoned I should’ve died there n then but as I was lyin’ in the road, all mangled up with the car fender, He, was suddenly there beside me. His face was the most beautiful face I had ever clapped eyes on. I wasn’t scared, I felt safe n I couldn’t feel any pain in my legs. They said I was out cold for days, I don’t know about that, I remember being with Him in a wonderful place, and when I came round in that hospital bed I cried, I cried because I’d got to leave Him. He’s been here with me ever since. Last night He came n told me I must tell you about Him Joseph. He wants you to know He’s real.”

Joseph was nodding. Emotions and feelings flooding his mind, he felt so ashamed of himself because he “forgot to remember”. He grinned, thinking momentarily about Issy’s Mum, this was her favourite turn of phrase.

“I’m guessin’ you know who I’m on about Joseph?”

Joseph nodded, unable to speak.

“Recon you know the place I’m on about. He said you’d been there with Issy a while ago.

Tell you what lad, I’m on my way there for good n I can’t wait. Just got to see the missus one last time n then I’m off. It’s fantastic. All that gorgeous water n trees full of every different fruit imaginable. Me mouth’s waterin’ just thinking about it. I can’t wait I tell you.”

Mr. Dolby became quiet and Joseph saw that he was resting. He tiptoed out of the room.

Mrs. Dolby arrived half an hour later and was sitting with her husband, holding his hand when Joseph brought fresh water and a glass. Mr. Dolby opened his eyes and smiled at Joseph.

“Can you feel Him Joseph? He’s here.”

Joseph felt a sudden rush of warm breeze and a perfume so exquisite it could belong to no one else. He turned and watched the misty figure hold out arms ready to embrace, and he knew in that moment Mr. Dolby had breathed the last breath his mortal body would ever breathe.

Mrs. Dolby was smiling, her eyes sensing and seeing what Joseph was sensing and seeing. She whispered, “Be with you soon my love”.

“Wow!” said Joseph.

Shimrath Shamir and the Luminar were leaping up and down hugging each other.

Joseph was back.

Issy was incredulous.

For the first time in a year, they spoke about Him.

Shimrath Shamir and Tabbach Shamir joined forces once more because Issy and Joseph were about to learn about the importance of trusting and knowing ‘the Boss’.

It was yet another hot humid evening. The heat wave was lasting for ages. People seemed to be in such bad moods, even Issy was glad to escape from the house.

Issy and Joseph met up intending to head out to the quarry for a swim. They crossed the road and were taking a short cut over some waste ground when they heard someone calling.

“Help me. Please help me.”

Following the sound, they skirted a massive pile of rubble and stumbled over a makeshift shelter. Below was a figure, huddled and shivering, despite the heat.

“Hey, what you doin’ out here?”

Joseph moved closer.

“Help me. Frightened, so frightened. Pains in me chest. Help me.”

Issy pulled out her mobile phone and dialled 999.

“An ambulance is on its way, don’t be scared.”

“Frightened, frightened, don’t want to die.”

“Its ok mate, no need to be scared.” Joseph remembered Mr. Dolby, eager to go and be with Jesus. “Anyway you’re not gonna die, the ambulance will be here soon.”

“Had heart attack month ago, died n brought back thank god. It was terrible, never been so scared. They were pullin’ me through this black wall. I didn’t want to go, I clung on. Blimey mate I don’t want to die its horrible. These things were pullin’ at me they were vile. Never been so scared in all me life. Don’t want to die, don’t want to die!”

The Paramedics arrived and after a quick examination they lifted him onto the trolley.

As they opened the ambulance doors Issy and Joseph heard him scream, “They’re here, they’re here.”

The words oozed terror. It hung in the air, raw and tangible, gobbling up the silence as the paramedics went into a flurry of activity. After fifteen minutes they shook their heads. The trolley was put into the ambulance, the blue lights switched off, and they drove away.

Joseph and Issy were silent as they walked towards their special place, neither of them felt like a swim anymore.

Eventually they discussed what had happened. They spoke about Mr.Dolby. Two deaths, yet the dying was so different.

A question formed in both their minds. If we die tonight, where will we go?

To that wonderful place filled with light and love where He waits for us. Or, to somewhere so black and terrifying it made their souls tremble.

Shimrath and Tabbach Shamir moved really close to their charges. Alongside them stood the Beautiful One radiating love, peace and joy in waves that washed over Issy and Joseph. From deep within their spirits Ruach responded to their question.

“With Me there is no fear, I have defeated death. Because you know Me, and I know you, you will spend eternity with Me.

Go and tell people about Me. Tell them where they will go when they die, if they don’t know and accept Me. Earth time is drawing to a close and Heyel the evil one has already despatched the Malakuth, double agents who cry “Peace, Peace”, yet they are initiating the final chapter of the Hamam Decree, the Decree for the destruction of My people.”

Joseph and Issy were soaring. They both glanced down and saw their human bodies side by side on the ground. They felt wonderful.

Shimrath and Tabbach were moving effortlessly beside them, and both Shamir were beaming. This was a rare privilege and honour to escort the Boss’s children out of earth time, into the Spirit Realm. They had been instructed by Sar Iyer to take Joseph and Issy on a journey to show them the world through Spirit eyes. They were equipping them with global knowledge of things happening and things to come.

Joseph and Issy were aware of their guardians and with Spirit eyes they could see their huge energy force and visualize their form. As features clarified they smiled a response to Shimrath and Tabbach.

They were mesmerized, recognizing world landmarks, previously seen in pictures or on news programmes and documentaries. This was awesome!

They could hear Ruach speaking from deep within them, recognizing the voice they loved so much, the Beautiful One inside them, His Spirit, Ruach, with them, part of them, united with their awakened spirits.

“My dear ones’, look at the world.  In every corner of this planet there is chaos, confusion, war, disaster, sickness, death, and evil. The Green Etherial Highway has made inroads to the very ends of the earth, Heyel and his agents are infiltrating and corrupting every aspect of life.

Heyel was allowed a time to rule and will continue wreaking his vileness until the day a signal will sound from Yeriyel, the place of infinite power. On that day the Spirit Realm will be entering the final battle for dominion. All that is good against all that is evil. Time will melt away, Heyel and his slaves will be cast for a thousand years into Olam – Sheol and then I will make judgement. I will divide My children at Shepha, and every soul will learn of their eternal destiny. With his followers, Heyel is to leave all light, love, joy, and peace. They will be in the darkness of the pit for eternity. ”

Issy and Joseph found themselves alone, swallowed up by darkness so thick it was smothering them. Their eyes ached from the pitch black as they strained for a glint, a spark of light. There was nothing. Hairs prickled on the back of their neck as each became aware that they were not alone. Misery, anguish, fear, desperation, helplessness, and raw evil permeated around them. They could not move, there was a tangible force crushing them. In the distance they could hear, “Help me, why am I here?” and screams so terrible Issy felt sick. Pain spread slowly, creeping into every aspect of their being. The darkness became agony so dreadful they knew only longing for light.

Thrown into total panic Issy realized she no longer felt the Beautiful One, He was no longer with her. She became aware of an unearthly sound so wretched it added to the torment. Then she knew, the sound was ‘her’.

Tabbach Shamir swept Issy into the folds of spiritual power, and comforted her. He recognised pain, similar, but less intense, as that of the Boss when a person died without Him.

This was the first time Tabbach and Shimrath experienced retrieval from Olam – Sheol. Unless the Boss instigated a visit, no one ever came back from there. It was unbearable to see the despair and agony in their charges, evidence of what they had just experienced.

Joseph, enveloped in Shimrath’s comfort, knew he was no longer in darkness, but the memory, in total clarity, would continue to haunt him.

From within their spirits Ruach began to speak, “ I had to expose you to the place called Olam – Sheol. To experience is never to forget. Remember all I have shown you about death. You know Me and I know you, so there is a passage from your mortal life into your eternal life with Me, secured, for you. As you breathe your last I will be there, My hands outstretched, welcoming you. Such peace, such joy, such love. But, remember Olam – Sheol, the place of darkness. Any who hear the truth and reject it, any who serve Heyel, will breathe their last, to be dragged through into the pit of torturing darkness that is Olam – Sheol.  Mark this well My child, you are My hands, My feet, My mouth, My witness in the world. Tell people about the choice they have to make before they die. Once they are dead it is too late, there is no return from Olam – Sheol.”

Urgency rose up within them both, an urgency to waste no more time. People needed to know the truth, and the truth would set them free.

Shimrath and Tabbach felt relief now their charges were back with them, and once assured that Joseph and Issy were able to continue, they resumed the global tour.

They were in the Spirit Realm and outside earth time so they covered vast distances, moving from one part of the world to another in an instant. Everywhere was touched by death and destruction.

Issy and Joseph witnessed an endless stream of bullets, bombs, knives, poisons, famine, natural disasters, abortions, and suicides, ripping souls from mortal bodies, dragged through the wall of darkness to Olam – Sheol. In the midst of death were tiny lights, the Beautiful One would appear with arms outstretched, He would receive the shining souls, some never having been born, into His embrace, and the brilliant light would then fold into a shaft, arching upwards out of sight. They chose the truth, He is the truth, and the truth had set them free.

Shimrath, Tabbach, Joseph and Issy cheered, dancing with abandonment and joy, hugging each other.

The next moment they found themselves looking down on a vast multitude of people who shone. They were singing, some were dancing, hands raised to the sky. Everywhere, above beside and around were Shamir and Iyer, also singing and dancing. Joseph and Issy laughed, they could see their beautiful friend everywhere. His light was shining seeming to be inside and outside the men, women, youth, and children. Here and there were bodies with a light so small on the inside it was merely a flicker, while some had no light at all. They sat or stood without any movement, some not even singing. The two observers and their Shamir companions joined in the celebration. Joseph and Issy were home, this was where they belonged.

“How can we find somewhere like this when we go back?” Joseph was swinging Issy around.

Immediately Ruach responded to them both, “ I will guide you.”

The singing stopped and everyone sat down.

A small white haired man stepped up to a microphone and began to speak. All around him were Tsaba, huge, gleaming and holding massive swords before them. Words left the man’s mouth and they were visible to Joseph and Issy. The words went out and spread through the place, and as they dissolved into people the light within them shone brighter.

One of the Tsaba suddenly swept from the platform and sped towards the back of the crowd. A woman who had no light inside her was oblivious, but the Belial surrounding her braced themselves, the Rakiyl still whispering in her ear, the Shaden passing in and out of her, and the Charash who quickly called for help. More Charash fighters appeared from the green mist surrounding her. A fierce battle commenced, but with authority and power like laser bullets from the sword, the Tsaba Warrior despatched the Charash into green mist. The woman, accompanied by the Rakiyl and Shaden, got up and walked briskly from the meeting. A repeat of this happened several times and eventually eliminated all the darkness.

Joseph and Issy listened to the words of the speaker.

“ I know where I am going when I die.

Do you?

I know that I had a choice to make and I chose Him.

He came to earth and lived as a human being. Can you believe that! Our Creator, in a human body. He knows and understands every emotion, every feeling, every up and down of life. He understands grief, He understands pain and suffering. He experienced it all. He experienced death. We must all experience death. However, He did not remain dead He overcame it. Because He did this, and is alive today, we can choose to live our lives for Him, sharing all He has done for us with the world. Eventually when we breathe our final breath on this earth He promises to come for us, He will take us to be with Him forever. “

Issy felt excited, this was about her beautiful friend. She was desperate to find out more, to discover everything she could about Him. Then she noticed the speaker had a Book, and she knew it was the same Book given to her and Joseph. The man picked up the Book and began to speak,

“ In this precious book we find an account written by a man called John. He was with Jesus when He was on earth, John was an apostle, a man who witnessed Jesus, “… do many other miraculous signs besides the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life”.  John wrote this in the twentieth chapter of his book, verses thirty to thirty one.

John probably wrote this book in A.D. 85 – 90, after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and before his exile to the island of Patmos. His purpose was to prove conclusively that Jesus is the Son of God, and that all who believe in Him have eternal life. He wrote it for new Christians and searching non-Christians.

He begins writing with an overview, and I am reading the paraphrased overview contained in this Book.

“HE SPOKE, and galaxies whirled into place, stars burned the heavens, and planets began orbiting their suns. Words of awesome, unlimited, unleashed power. He spoke again, and the waters and lands were filled with plants and creatures, running, swimming, growing, and multiplying. Words of animating, breathing, pulsing life. Again He spoke, and man and woman were formed, thinking, speaking, and loving. Words of personal and creative glory.  Eternal, infinite, unlimited.  He was, is, and always will be the Maker and Lord of all that exists.

And then He came in the flesh to a speck in the universe called planet Earth. The mighty Creator became part of the creation, limited by time and space and susceptible to ageing, sickness, and death. But love propelled Him, and so He came to save and rescue those who were lost and to give them the gift of eternity. He is the Word; He is Jesus the Messiah. It is this truth that the apostle John brings to us in this book. John’s Gospel is not a life of Christ; it is a powerful argument for the incarnation, a conclusive demonstration that Jesus was, and is, the very heaven-sent Son of God and the only source of eternal life. John discloses His identity with his very first words, “In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and He was God. He was in the beginning with God.” Chapter one verses one and two; and the rest of the book continues the theme. John, the eyewitness, chose eight of Jesus’ miracles, (or miraculous signs, as he calls them) to reveal His divine/human nature and His life-giving mission. These signs are (1) turning water into wine (chapter two verses one to eleven), (2) healing the official’s son ( chapter four verses forty six to fifty four), (3) healing the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda ( chapter five verses one to nine), (4) feeding the five thousand with just a few loaves and fish (chapter six verses one to fourteen), (5) walking on the water ( chapter six verses fifteen to twenty one, (6) restoring sight to the blind man (chapter nine verses one to forty one ), (7) raising Lazarus from the dead ( chapter eleven verses one to forty four), and, after the Resurrection, (8) giving the disciples an overwhelming catch of fish ( chapter twenty one verses one to fourteen).

In every chapter Jesus’ deity is revealed. And Jesus true identity is underscored by the titles He is given: the Word, the only Son, Lamb of God, Son of God, true bread, life, resurrection, vine. And the formula is “I am.” When Jesus uses this phrase, He affirms His pre-existence and eternal deity. Jesus says, I am the bread of life (chapter six verse thirty five); I am the light of the world ( chapter eight verse twelve and chapter nine verse five); I am the gate (chapter ten verse seven); I am the good shepherd ( chapter ten verses eleven and fourteen); I am the resurrection and the life ( chapter eleven verse twenty five); I am the way, the truth, and the life (chapter fourteen verse six);  and I am the true vine ( chapter fifteen verse one).

The greatest sign, of course, is the Resurrection, and John provides a stirring eye-witness account of finding the empty tomb. Then he records several post resurrection appearances by Jesus.

John, the devoted follower of Christ, has given us a personal and powerful look at Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. As you read his story, commit yourself to believe in and follow Him.

Well my friends I can witness to these facts, Jesus is real, He is the truth, He is alive, He is here right now. For those of you who don’t know this Jesus, and who want to know Him and invite Him into your heart, get up out of your seats and make your way to the front. Today is the day for your new birth, today is the beginning of your new life, with Him.”

Issy and Joseph sat watching people begin to move forward. None of them were shining brightly, some had tiny flickers of light, others’ had no light at all. Once everyone had gathered, the man on the platform began to speak.

“ This is a wonderful day for you all. It is the day you will begin to breathe eternity. I am going to say a simple prayer for you to repeat.

Lord Jesus, thank you for dying in my place, thank you for taking all my sins, and all my sickness onto your body. Thank you for suffering in my place. I am sorry for all the wrong things I have done in my life and I ask You to please forgive me. I invite You to come and live in me, to share my life. Help me to follow You. Help me to learn more about You. Help me to become more like You. Thank you Lord Jesus, I pray this in and through Your precious name. Amen.

Brothers and sisters, welcome into the family of God. We have a gift for each of you, a copy of this precious book. Have a chat with the stewards waiting to speak to you and help you. Praise God, there will be a……”

The words thinned into oblivion as Issy and Joseph were “torpedoed” into the midst of the most humongous party either of them had ever seen. Their jaws fell open at the vastness and great number of shining people, Luminar, Iyer, Shamir, and Tsaba, plus their beautiful friend Jesus. Everyone was dancing, singing, generally having a ball. Issy called to Tabbach Shamir,

“What’s all this?”

“This is a celebration. We do this when new birth happens in a human spirit. It’s wonderful Issy!”

Issy just had time to nod agreement before her dearest, most special friend lit up all around her with His beauty. “Come on Issy, let’s dance.”

He swept her off into a gigantic spin, and she nestled close to Him, never wanting to leave His side again.

Suddenly she felt the hard earth under her body. She sobbed as she found herself back on earth and once more trapped within time.

Silence wrapped itself around Joseph and Issy as they made their way home. Images, prompting joy, and images prompting a chilling horror permeated their thoughts. Mere words were inadequate to communicate to each other what was happening in each of their minds.

They were both jolted back into reality as they crossed from the park and rounded the corner to their road. Issy let out a gasp and began to run, Joseph was close on her heels.

Mel and Sari

Outside Issys home stood an ambulance, with doors open, ready to receive the patient being pushed out of their house on a trolley.

It was Sari. Hamish was at her side clutching her hand.

“Dad what’s happening? What’s wrong with Mum?”

The Paramedic was holding some serious looking equipment, and Sari disappeared from view.

Come on Issy, we are following the ambulance.” Hamish had said goodbye to Sari, and was now darting back to lock the front door, then he unlocked the family car.

Issy and Joseph clambered into the back seats.

“Your Mum had a bad night with pains in her chest. I insisted on calling the Doctor and he phoned for the ambulance to take Mum into hospital. They don’t know what’s wrong and need to do some tests.”

The journey took about ten minutes, and everyone was silent as they travelled.

Struggling to find a space in the heaving car park frustration led to exasperation.

Shimrath and Tabbach Shamir nodded silently and as Issy and Joseph mouthed the words, “Please let us find a parking space”. They nudged Hamish’s mind towards the gap vacated by a reversing car and blocked the spot from the view of the vulture like motorists circling the rows.

With feet whipped to a frenzy they were ushered into A&E with a ‘whoosh’, as the automatic door sucked them through. Frantically they searched for Sari.

“She’s been taken into a cubicle, it’s this way.” The paramedic led them all down a corridor lined with curtained bays. He pulled back a mass of bright blue and pink flowers to reveal Sari slumped rather uncomfortably on a trolley.

“Someone will be along soon. Hope all goes well. Bye.” He gave a ‘thumbs up’ to Sari and with another swish of material he was gone, and they were isolated from the bustle of the department.

“Mum, how are you feeling now?” Issy was at her Mum’s side holding her hand.

Hamish was at her other side gently touching her face. “Still a bit sore sweetheart?”

“Don’t you worry, I’ll be fine.” She smiled.

Joseph stood at the foot of the trolley, shocked at how pale Sari looked.

Issy and Joseph were both silently asking their wonderful friend to help.

Two Shamir instantly guided the Doctor towards their bay.

The next hours were a haze for Issy. She sat with her Mum as often as they would allow her, and with every particle of her being she willed Sari to live. Hamish was shocked, but, as always, both he and Sari remained firm and strong in their faith. Sari was excited about the possibility of going ‘home’, and Hamish was drawing strength from his wonderful friend Jesus.

Hamish knew that even in death Jesus could grant the gift of life, so even as Sari smiled and slipped away from them he still had hope.


I could kill Simon, he almost ruined our session.

It was going to be a great day. I set up the Ouija Board in my room although it was very hot. Issy was out of the way and the old farts were shopping, so we had the most brilliant opportunity to contact ‘H’. We really thought Simon was onside, and I think he was almost there, if only he hadn’t kept his stupid cross round his neck. I never want to upset ‘H’ again, he was furious!

Let me wind back to that afternoon in my bedroom. Chad and Alex had their usual bit of fun with Simon, but everything got serious as the glass moved around. The green mist swirled, rising from the hole which always appeared in my wall, that was the signal ‘H’ was ready to give us his instructions. It was awesome, different, ‘H’ himself materialised in my room!

I had forgotten how spine tingling and alive he made me feel.

It was only when my ears became aware of a sound like a wounded animal whimpering, that I looked to my left and saw Simon with an expression unlike any I have ever seen on a human face. A roar from ‘H’ turned the whimper into a scream and the cross on Simon’s neck was being twisted and pulled by an invisible force. Blood soaked into his T Shirt, and I watched, fascinated by the tiny red rivulets expanding into blots.

“Rip it off him. Get it out of here!” The words were ice as they left Heyel’s mouth.

Simon was screaming, “No! ” He found momentum and ran out of the room clutching his throat.

Chad and Alex were stunned, and I was horrified, how could Simon ruin this for us.

‘H’ was leering, but then in an instant he changed, we forgot about Simon, ‘H’ was here.

“You’ve got a lot to make up for pretty people. I don’t tolerate failure, and there’s been precious little success to keep me interested in you. However, I’m going to give you a chance to prove your loyalty and devotion to me, you will get my instructions soon.”

‘H’ was gone. I shivered.

“That was awesome!”

“Yeah! Major cool!”

Chad and Alex’s words tumbled on top of each other.

“Want to hang out some more Mel?”

I needed to think about what happened so I shook my head.

The boys left to go to the pub arranging to meet up the following day.

Time passed. ‘H’ had gone quiet, no matter how many times we got together and used the board nothing happened for ages. Eventually ‘H’ led us to an amazing organization.

Chad was waxing lyrical about this group of people who talked our talk when my phone vibrated.

My mobile vibrated.

“What you ringin’ for?” It was Issy.

“Sorry Mel, I wouldn’t have but Mum’s been rushed into hospital. It’s not looking good for her.  I thought….”

“You thought wrong!” I slammed my phone onto the table.

“What’s up Mel?” Alex raised his eyes as his drink spilled.

“Stupid  bitch thought I’d be interested, foul face is dyin!”

“Cum uppance time kiddo!” Fists punched the air and we all ‘whooped’ and laughed.

Sari’s Dream and Sari’s Life

“I had a dream. I was being cradled on the threshold of my home by hands that are ‘love’; everything that is ‘me’ feels contented, cherished and safe. The hands are gentle; the hands are familiar, bathed with a light that is alive and tangible, radiating purity from deep within. As I am turned I see a mist forming before me, penetrating and contaminating the glorious aura. There is a room taking shape, a room with a bed. On the bed lies a woman, she is completely still; a man is leaning over her. At the bottom of the bed there is a bundle of white linen moulded around something quite small.

I feel a surge of desperation, “Please let me stay here with you.”

Waves of love flow over and through me.

“In the twinkling of an eye you will return. I am with you always. Do not be afraid.”

I hear myself pleading not to leave.

Many years later this came into my remembrance, and when I shared it with my sister she told me about the day I was born.

It was the 15th July 1954 and my Mum had suddenly become paralysed. The family doctor was very concerned as she was about to deliver me, and all her symptoms indicated polio. It was a long labour, and when declared dead on arrival, a linen sheet was wrapped over me, and I was placed at the foot of the bed. For twenty minutes or so the doctor worked on my Mum. Suddenly from within the cloth I let out a scream and began to cry.

Dr. Hert called me his miracle.


Mum had moved from Sheffield with her parents in the second World War, when wire rope production was relocated, away from the Blitz, (bombing every night). The new factory and Grandad’s house was in a rural area surrounded by fields.

Mum and Dad met after writing to each other whilst Dad was serving in the RAF. They met and then married, and lived with Nan and Grandad.

My childhood revolved around Beechy Lane, it was a wonderful place with a big garden, a  house with a flat roof, and the wire rope factory next door, where my Dad and Grandad worked. When Mum and Dad, Jane my older sister, and I moved from there to a council estate, I continued to spend all my holidays and weekends with my Grandparents.

Childhood memories are triggered by seasons and smells. Fresh mown grass always reminds me of summer holidays and the picture of Grandad mowing his beautiful lawns. The perfume of roses conjures up images of his breathtaking blooms so lovingly grown in the rear garden, and of me collecting petals to make perfume. The plants were in front of Golden Rod and deep purple Asters, a backdrop of purple and gold in September. Rhubarb makes me smile as I recall lazy afternoons in my den among the currant bushes at the top of the back garden, with an egg cup of sugar and a stick of rhubarb. The pungency of smoke and a bonfire immediately catapults me to Autumn days, burning leaves I helped to gather.

Christmas would begin at Forest Hill, on the council housing estate, with a very early start on Christmas morning, Nan and Grandad always wore fur coats, and watched us open our presents. On Boxing Day everyone went to Beechy Lane and we had cold turkey with stuffing, and onions and cucumber in vinegar.

I would stay with Nan and Grandad until the end of the holidays and look out of the window longing for snow. I still love winter days when snow falls, I remember how the amber street lights would pick out the flakes, and the garden and fields were transformed into a wonderland. Clearing snow with Grandad was great fun, one year it was so deep on the path it came up to my waist.

There was no one else to play with at Beechy Lane, so I made up many games, being transported to Sherwood Forest with the outlaws and Robin Hood, or the American planes, where I fought the cowboys, or the Indians, depending if I had made a gun or a bow out of wood. The garden was a magical adventure playground, filled with secrets and mystery; I was a little girl who had a vivid imagination. They were happy days.

I eventually went to college on a pre nursing course and met Hamish. We were fifteen.

Every lunch time a group of us would go and trampoline in the gym. Three or four boys often turned up and kicked footballs at us. Hamish was one of them, and George, someone I had known since I was five. George came over every day, saying two of his friends liked me, Ben and Hamish, so which one would I go out with.  Eventually I asked what they looked like. One had blonde hair and the other black so to get rid of him I said I would meet the one with black hair. George told me the time and place, and I promptly forgot, as I had no intention of turning up.

A week later, my friend Sue had come over for a ‘girlie’ evening, suddenly my Dad yelled upstairs,

“Sari, get down here now!”

Two men were standing in our kitchen, and the one called Sergeant Stone asked me if I had arranged to meet someone that evening. I vaguely recalled something, but said I couldn’t remember what night it was supposed to be, where, or even his name, but he definitely had black hair.

The policemen said I shouldn’t arrange meetings with people I didn’t know. They had picked up a person loitering outside our house, who said he was meeting me. He was taken to the police station because they thought he was the person attacking women on the estate.

My Dad went ‘mad’ at me and I was grounded for a month.

We had just started the Easter holidays so it was two weeks before I saw George and gave him a telling off. He told me what had happened to Hamish. Apparently, he turned up to meet me and waited, for over an hour, sitting on the road sign at the corner of our house. A neighbour spotted him and called the police, who sent a pair of officers to walk past him a couple of times, then, when the vehicle arrived he was unceremoniously bundled into the back of a police van and taken to the Police Station for questioning. They went over the details about meeting me many times, but eventually, with his story vaguely confirmed, they let him go. His Mum was furious and went down to the Police Station to complain. Hamish and I were married several years before I dared to confess to her that I was the girl who got her son arrested.

I felt awful when George told me all this, and was amazed when he said Hamish still wanted to go out with me. This time I insisted he ask me himself, and we met on the stairs leading up to the Library. He asked me, and we arranged a day and time, it was then we heard the clapping. All his mates were standing on the balcony above us listening.

Our dates were never dull. The first date was at the cinema, and it was dark as we were shown to our seats because the film was about to begin. I moved along the row, passing several couples and then sat down. I removed my coat. I made sure my handbag was safe. I undid the box of sweets. Eventually I turned to offer Hamish some pop corn, but I couldn’t find him, or the adjoining seat. I screwed my eyes and behind me in a gap there he stood, watching the film!

On our second date we had been bowling, and before we caught the bus home I went off to the toilet. Unfortunately they were very old fashioned and had ceiling to floor doors with a mechanism that needed a penny to get inside. My coin must have jammed, because when I locked the door on the inside I was trapped, with no way out. A woman offered to go and find the attendant and half an hour went by. Our bus had gone and Hamish had no idea where I was. The attendant arrived with tools and had to unscrew the door to get me out. I was so traumatized I didn’t tell Hamish what had happened, and he didn’t ask. He must have thought I was very strange.

Another time we went ice skating, and after problems getting boots small for me we went tottering on to the ice. As Hamish lunged forward I noticed his trouser zip was undone. This was really embarrassing, and it was horrible finding a way to tell him. Eventually we began to wobble around the outside of the rink. Suddenly a chain of people grabbed Hamish by the hand and he was whisked away, hurtling at a fearful speed over the ice. I watched horrified as he moved like a bullet towards a girl who had fallen over. He would have done terrible damage, but at the last moment he leaped into the air and jumped over her. It was awesome. He actually landed on his feet, and then crashed into the barrier.

That was the beginning of our exciting life journey together.

I got us into some bad situations because of my laughing. I am prone to fall down or trip, when someone else does this I have to admit that I laugh. I’m relieved it’s not me. On one occasion, we had just been to see a film at a local cinema which had numerous steps leading from the pavement to the entrance. Suddenly a woman plopped passed me on her bottom, almost passing through my legs. She wasn’t hurt, but I had to sit down I was laughing so much. Her husband got hold of Hamish and said how disgusted he was with me.  I felt awful but was still laughing. It was even worse when I watched a woman cross between two cars at the end of the road and suddenly go flying. Her basket shot up into the air falling onto the pavement, and she quickly followed. Again she was ok, and I had gone to help, but when I saw the tow bar between the two cars I sat on the kerb and laughed so much I cried. That was exactly the sort of thing I would trip over.

Life changed dramatically for us when Mum and Dad bought a bungalow, less than a year after we met. We were now living sixteen miles apart, so Beechy Lane became my base once more.

When I was seventeen I became a nursing Cadet at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, and as a resident in the Nursing home, seeing Hamish was difficult.

Daily phone calls and weekends were possible until I began my State Registered Nurse training. Time with Hamish was precious.

As a ‘green’, straight out of introductory block nurse I was completely unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster I was about to board.

I never doubted Jesus was always with me. I talked to Him regularly, but it was in my first month, on my first ward as a student nurse, that I fully comprehended Him as a living and wonderful friend.

When they lived in Sheffield, my Mum, Nan and Grandad were members of a church, but Mum never went again after she married Dad. I was very young when she gave me a Bible and would tell me about Jesus. I read my Bible and learned 1Corinthians chapter13 by heart.

Mr. Davey was a man in his thirties, with a wife and two sons. He was dying.

The Staff Nurse gave me the job of caring for Mr. Davey, spending time with him, making sure he was comfortable. This went on for over a week and when I returned from my day off the ward report said he was deteriorating fast. His wife had been called, and until she arrived I went to sit with him.

Mr. Davey had spoken to me about his faith before, his love for Jesus, and now he began to share his excitement, knowing he was going to be with Jesus forever. He described a place he could see that was beautiful, with a perfume so deliciously different to anything he had ever smelled before. Everywhere there was a glow, a beautiful light, illuminating the exquisite plants and flowers.  There was a figure and he knew this was Jesus, but he was waiting for his wife to arrive before he made the final step into His waiting arms. He then described what was happening to his wife, he knew the car had broken down as she was going to pick up the boys, and it would be sometime before she got to the hospital.

I was crying, so were the men in nearby beds, they could hear what he was telling me.

This all turned out to be true, and eventually when Mrs. Davey came through the curtains he reached over, touching my face, and told me that God would bless me all the days of my life.

He died peacefully, fifteen minutes later, holding his wife’s hand.

In my final student year, I worked on a Cardiac Unit. A patient had a cardiac arrest and I was part of the ‘crash’ team. We resuscitated him and he called me back as I was leaving and asked if he could speak to me. He described in detail what had happened to him, including the nurses and the Doctor who were present. It was incredible because I had seen him flat on his back, not breathing, without a heartbeat, and his eyes closed. I was shocked because there was no way he could have known. He said he had been looking down on himself and us, and was fighting to stop himself going through a black wall. He knew if he went through he would not get back, and he was terrified of the other side. I thought about this for a long time after he had another cardiac arrest and died, but I did not make a link with Mr. Davey until many years later. I had not realised that Jesus showed me the difference in a death of assurance through faith in Him, and a death without Him. I also understand now about seeing with spirit eyes, how Mr. Davey could see his wife.

There were many experiences involving death, and my faith increased each time I saw how peacefully people who knew and loved Jesus left this earth. Death doesn’t make me fearful because I know Jesus is waiting for me.

Within a year of beginning my training I knew I wasn’t meant to be a nurse. I couldn’t leave work at work. The sadness of sickness affecting families became my worry and eventually I understood I would find it almost impossible to detach myself emotionally. I determined to complete my training, and the periods spent in Casualty and the operating theatre allowed me respite from the stress of being with people I had to interact with and get to know.

I trained as a primary teacher when I married Hamish.

Thankfully the three nursing years were filled with amusing incidents too. On one occasion I was excited because on my second day in theatre I was going to be allowed to help. My job was to get the three wheeled trolley holding the stainless steel sterile bowl of water, to the surgeon when he said, “Water!”

His bellow triggered a sudden surge of speed and I failed to notice the diathermy cable stretched before me on the floor. Mr. Ball was standing just on the other side of it and as the wheel hit the cable, the stainless steel bowl flew out of the rim and deposited all the contents over him, then clattered noisily to the floor.


Even before he screamed at me, “Get out! Get out!” I was propelling myself towards the door at a frenzied pace.

I didn’t hear the peals of laughter as I huddled in the corner of the locker room, traumatized.

A few weeks later I assisted him with an operation. His ‘bark’ was much worse than his ‘bite’.

Working nights was always my favourite. It was great to go home in the morning knowing everyone else was off to work. There was considerable freedom, although we were students we were put in charge of wards, and because everyone got on so well there were lots of pranks to enjoy. On one occasion I was working with an auxiliary nurse called Galley. She was loud, and Irish and often went to the local paper’s printing shop during her break. A new nurse had just started her night duty and Galley suggested we take her down there, dressed up as a patient. They wouldn’t know her and we could have a laugh at their expense. We filled a drainage bag with orange juice and pushed the tube up the leg of some long knickers we had found in the linen cupboard. Then, wrapped in a huge op gown our new nurse accompanied us as we went the short distance to the open fire door behind which the weekly newspaper was being readied for printing. She went in, we remained outside, and we heard her saying in a dopey voice, “Av’ y’ seen me ‘usband?”

She then closed the fire door behind her. This meant we couldn’t get in to spring the joke and she was left on her own, appearing completely confused and escaped from who knows where. The print shop guys were stunned. Then to our horror we watched helplessly as they picked up the phone. Thankfully we managed to grab their attention before it got out of hand. We went inside and everyone had a good laugh. Unfortunately, Galley was throwing herself around as she enjoyed the moment, and the front page of the newspaper, all in metal print blocks waiting to go into the machine, upended, and thousands of tiny letters were sent whirling into space. The chaps had a terrible night after that. It was a while before we went down there again.

Life was full of protocol and discipline. The nursing home was like a prison. We had to be in by ten at night and we couldn’t have anyone in our rooms, not even parents. There was a visiting room, just like a doctor’s surgery. If you were locked out after ten o’clock the night porter had to let you in and you were reported. This was a ‘sackable’ offence. All of us residents felt unfairly treated and because of this we took many risks.

Our training was designated ‘School Blocks’ where we had up to two months at the nursing school. This presented a rather disgruntling situation because the non residents could take days off. One Christmas, with my friend Janice, we decided to abscond so we could do some Christmas shopping. We needed to come up with a plausible reason for not being at school so we decided to invent a story involving a party where I sprained my ankle so we couldn’t get back. No-one else except my Mum knew of our intent.

I prepared my ankle with ink and washable dye to appear bruised.

We had a great day and arrived back at the home late in the afternoon, depositing our parcels at the Doctors residency in case anyone saw us. We climbed the stairs and walked down the dark corridor to our rooms which were next door to each other. The doors were open. I stood in the doorway to see Matron and the Tutor reading a letter from Hamish to me. They had removed it from my top drawer. All sense went out the window and I snatched the letter, “What do you think you are doing? That’s my letter!”

I was unceremoniously grabbed by the back of my coat and frog marched back down the passage to the lift. Janice and I were separated and interrogated.

The detail caught us out. Our stories varied about our return, I came back on the bus and my friend came back on the train!

We were for the high jump, the sack.

Even the Police had been involved.  No one wanted to worry my Mum and she was the only one who knew where we were. They had even telephoned Hamish.

Thankfully the Principle of the nursing school had a sense of proportion. They decided on a severe reprimand.

If they had known the number of times we had stayed out things would have been different. Janice and I once fell asleep on the bus coming back from a night out. We woke up at 6.30am on the back seat of the bus, upstairs, in the bus station. The sound of the early shift had been our alarm call!

Only one of the nursing residencies allowed us freedom, because the ground floor was accessible. Dustbins were placed under the lounge window, which was left open by a friend. This provided entry after various early morning adventures.

Looking back over my life I recognise times when only angelic hands saved me, and Hamish.

We had an accident in a car with a fence and two stakes. One came through the steering wheel, stopping centimetres away from Hamish’s chest, the other through the floor between my feet.

Again, in a car, we rounded a bend to face another vehicle speeding towards us on the wrong side of the road. Afterwards we both said we had resigned ourselves in a split second to a head on collision. It didn’t happen! We felt pulled back, and although bumpers were touching, we did not crash.

Another time as we headed up the motorway there was a bang, chunks of metal and oil flew past the window as we veered from the fast lane, thankfully over two clear lanes, onto the hard shoulder. The engine had exploded!

On the motorway again, Hamish had a front tyre blow out in the fast lane. Traffic was heavy but the car slid into the side and halted without hitting anything.

There were so many funny situations as well. Our life has been filled with laughter.

Often my undoing was short-sightedness. My eyesight was poor, but I was vain and hated wearing glasses, so, on many occasions I found myself in difficult circumstances. Many times I caught the wrong bus because I couldn’t see the number, and it was a blessing if the bus hadn’t moved so when I asked for a ticket in the opposite direction the driver would get me off the bus before I was totally lost.

After passing his driving test Hamish was entered into the ‘Learner Driver of the Year Competition’ and I was to meet him in London for the semi finals. I needed to catch a train. That was not so ‘hit and miss’ as getting onto a bus because usually only one train arrived at the platform. When the train stopped I watched as people dashed into the open doors, and I grinned smugly as I spotted a door being ignored. I made my way over and stepped up into the carriage, then, to my horror, the door slammed behind me and I was plunged into darkness. The train began to move and as my eyes grew accustomed I fleetingly wondered why there wasn’t a window to look through. I found a table and chair and sat down. As we moved faster it was apparent the chair and table were not attached to the floor and I became completely preoccupied trying to keep upright. We stopped at three stations and I awaited my release. Eventually at the fourth, light streamed in as a guard noisily manhandled the door. He jumped back in amazement when he saw me.

“What you doin’ in there lady?”

I made as dignified an exit as the circumstances allowed and prayed we had reached London and Hamish would be waiting for me.

His greeting was, “What on earth were you doing in the baggage compartment?”

I ask you, how do you answer that and remain credible.!

Even on the day we married I managed to create a situation that has made us chuckle over the years. We were renting part of a farmhouse and I wanted everything to be just right, because we intended to quietly slip into our new home instead of going away on a honeymoon. The wedding was on Christmas Eve, in the morning, and as we settled onto the settee, still covered in confetti, Hamish said,

“I love Christmas, especially the Turkey dinner.”

I froze.

In my efforts to make provision for food, presents, decorations, cleaning, and general household essentials, the fact I was expected to produce a meal with all the trimmings had eluded me. I had only ever eaten Christmas dinner.

Very embarrassed I owned up and we put on our coats and set off to try and get some goodies. Thankfully a small local shop was still open and we wandered around procuring the necessary items.

“Coos” and “Ahs” followed us around the aisles.

We were shedding confetti as we walked and staff and customers quickly realized we had just got married.

Being nervous about preparing my first big meal as a married woman, I reasoned with myself that chicken was a ‘doddle’, so I was confident the turkey would be ok. How wrong could you get? When Hamish sliced into the bird a crackling and ripping sound accompanied the third piece of white breast. Stuck to the knife was a trail of melted plastic. No one ever told me that Turkey has plastic bags stuffed in both ends!

My humiliation was complete when, a few nights later as Hamish returned to work I really lost the ‘plot’. The night shift began at ten and I was quite nervous being in the old house alone for the first time. I waved him goodbye, Hamish could walk to work from the farm, and I watched until he disappeared from view. The house seemed empty and ever so lonely. I made myself a drink of cocoa and checking the doors and windows were all secure I hurried upstairs and closed our bedroom door. As I undressed I shivered, then, as I pulled the gossamer thin honeymoon nightdress over my head, I thought I would quite like some thick fluffy pyjamas to snuggle in to.

Aware of the isolated place, aware I was alone at night for the first time I reached under the bed and touched the hammer I had placed there. This was reassuring.

Noises were everywhere, and although I had a good book to read I was conscious of them all.

I had just glanced at the clock, it was one thirty. I was very tired but knew I wouldn’t sleep.

A moment later I heard a noise that was different. It sounded like a door being opened. Everything was muffled, but I was convinced I could hear careful, slow, deliberate feet, climbing the stairs. Breathing wasn’t an option. My heart was racing and I could feel blood pounding in my head. If indeed someone was making their way up the old staircase, I would know for sure when they placed their foot onto the top step leading to the small landing directly before the door to our bedroom. Motionless I listened to an intruder carefully mounting every step, with precision and caution they got closer and closer and then even before the whole ‘creak’ had completed I was up out of bed, staring at the door handle, clutching the hammer. The handle moved. As it turned and the door opened I raised the hammer over my head and standing in the now open doorway I was ready to strike.

Hamish yelled frantically, and grabbed the hammer before I could do any damage.

“What a sight Sari. If I’d been a burglar I wouldn’t have see the hammer, your nightdress is see through! I only came home for my sandwiches.”

“In sickness and in health” was definitely biased for Hamish towards the “In sickness” part, because two weeks after getting married I was confined to bed with pleurisy. Good health was not to be a blessing in our union until my miraculous healing on 31st August 1997. That’s a whole amazing story, for later.


Hamish has such wonderful dreams. He knows the person I know from my dream.  Many other people have Him in their lives too, and I know I trust Him completely. When Hamish woke me up in the early hours of the morning to tell me what Jesus had told him I was excited. ”

In the Spirit Realm we also felt excitement charging the airwaves.

This was what happened when Hamish heard the voice in his dream.

“Hi Hamish.” The voice was unlike any human voice, it had the force of wind rushing, yet sounded like gentle raindrops.

Hamish felt washed, he felt refreshed, and the voice seemed to alert every sense in his body. He was also afraid, not in a terrified way but afraid in a respectful way. He knew he could be wiped out of existence in an instant.

“Now you’re married there’s a job waiting for you overseas Hamish. Will you go there for me?”

Hamish did not hesitate, “Oh yes, tell me where you want me to go, and what you want me to do.”

“I want you to fill in the job application that will arrive in the post tomorrow.”


It was incredible. Hamish told me about the voice and what the voice had told him. I must admit I was a bit sceptical until the application arrived in the post the next day. Hamish applied, and got the job working for a Christian charity in the Middle East.

We uprooted from family, friends and everything we had ever known since childhood, to embark on an adventure. Both of us trusting the in the voice Hamish heard.

Suddenly we were in a whirlwind of preparation, injections, packing, work permits, passports, and a million other things.

Within months, we had a new life, in a country, both alien and exciting.

We lived in an apartment with a roof garden. This was cool, shaded by a vine that was twisted and gnarled with age. From the railings at the south side, there was a panoramic view of desert, stretching far into the distance, unbroken in its undulating rhythm of dunes. After a hot and exhausting day at work we relaxed, inhaling the scent of many flowering plants, and listening to the sounds of the insects and birds.

On a glorious sunset streaked evening, we saw three figures appear from nowhere, walking with ease over the distant banks of sand. Intrigued we remained in our chairs, until the blazing oranges and reds in the sky were melding into purple. The tiny figures were now close and it astonished us when they turned into our road. Ours was the only domestic residence in the area, situated over the printing shop, where Hamish repaired machinery. The businesses were closed and there was nowhere else for the men to go.

The intercom buzzed, and Hamish went downstairs.

As he opened the door Hamish said he felt a wave of power wash over him, he recognized one of the figures.

“Hi Hamish.”

The voice trickled into his senses. Hamish was overwhelmed.

“Come in, come in.” Hamish stepped aside, “Sari and I have been watching you, please come and join us, share a meal with us”.


I watched the three men brush passed Hamish, and without any sign of weariness, they climbed the stairs to the roof garden.

I went quickly into our apartment, hastily preparing some drinks and a meal for the unexpected guests. Listening to the conversation, I was mesmerised by the stranger who had such an extraordinary voice. I knew that voice.

He spoke softly, “Sari, this is a great meal”.

Nodding I blushed, as the wonderful sound coming from His mouth caressed my ears.

“You’re going to make a fabulous Mum. Hamish, you will be a brilliant Dad. Your child will be astonishing, remarkable, and able to see and understand so many things others fail to comprehend. Your child will be a very special person.” Hamish and Sari glanced at each other, stunned.

“I couldn’t pass by without saying hello. We’ve business in the next town.”

“Oh.” Hamish’s, voice echoed the surprise in his mind. The next town was a terrible place, it was a ‘no go’ area after dark, a refuge for criminals and terrorists. Only a few decent people ever went there.

The visitors prepared to leave.

“Please don’t go. Stay here for the night. You’re going to be at considerable risk if you attempt to go into the town tonight. The people are thugs and violent to each other, let alone strangers.” Hamish pleaded, as they began to stride down the stairs.

They reached the street, “We’ve an appointment to keep Hamish, but don’t worry about us we can look after ourselves”. He paused, “We are going to destroy the place”.

Hamish blew out his cheeks, and blinked at the words. “Destroy it?” He shook his head uncertain he was hearing correctly.

“Don’t be afraid of the tremors. It will be a localized earthquake, no-one and nothing here will be harmed, this town is quite safe.”

Instead of being reassured Hamish flew into a panic, “But what about a friend of mine, he works there, at the tiny clinic. The town contains some good people.”

“Tell him to get out. Can you reach him by phone?”

Hamish nodded, and as the men departed, he rushed to the telephone and made a call.

“It’s Hamish here. Listen to me you have to get out of town and over here right away. Bring your team with you. Don’t ask any questions just come over right now.”


Hamish made his voice sound urgent, it had the necessary impact. We had guests to stay that night.

As we went to bed we felt the first tremor, it was almost imperceptible, but everyone leapt out of bed. Rushing up to the roof garden and looking north, towards the ill-fated town, we saw a glow appear above the horizon.

Switching on the television, all of us were shocked, as news reports began to reveal pictures of total destruction. A localized earthquake measuring eight on the Richter scale had levelled the town. Not one building was left standing.

Hamish looked at his friends.

“Thank you for placing me here to warn them.” Hamish silently mouthed the words onto the airwaves.


There followed a time of civil unrest. Foreigners were unwelcome, and we began to experience frightening situations. Despite the danger we always felt safe, looked after. There were many opportunities to assist families and people who were desperate. It was as though our home, and indeed both of us were magnates, always seeming to be in the right place to offer help.

Coming back to England on leave without Hamish was strange, and I immediately returned when Marshall Law was declared. It was an eventful journey. The flight was delayed because of a bomb scare and two hours later we boarded and took off. Our seat belts were still fastened when the Pilot announced an unscheduled landing in Paris. After we landed the aircraft taxied away from the terminal buildings and out into the middle of nowhere, I felt very uneasy. Then the army came on board. Quickly the two aisles filled with baggage, they carefully removed it from the lockers over the seats, then after a meticulous search, dumped it behind them on the floor and moved on. We had to remain in our seats throughout all of this. There was a report of a bomb on board.

The next stage of my journey, after landing in Damascus, found me walking across a runway towards a plane surrounded by luggage. I found my case and had to haul it up the rear end of the aircraft and then find a seat, they were single with one either side. The pilot disappeared behind a curtain, and as I fastened myself in, a young man with a machine gun appeared from behind me and positioned himself in the centre of the gangway. He said he was there for our protection. I prayed he had a safety catch on his gun.

Several hours later we landed once more, and I had to go very quickly to the internal flight area. I chose a trolley which lost a wheel as I ran from one building to another, across a car park. Completely out of control I veered into the back of a car, and although apologising over my shoulder, I was pursued by a man who was shouting words I was pleased not to understand.

Eventually I managed to lose him when I hid behind a bus. The next stage was a flight of just over an hour taking me to the airport outside the town. I was looking forward to seeing Hamish, and after two days of travelling I was also exhausted. We landed and immediately the aircraft stopped we were surrounded by soldiers with guns. All of us were escorted, as we struggled with our bags, into a room where we were searched and questioned. The officials were not pleasant and if they found something in your belongings they fancied, they took it. I emerged on the other side to find even more soldiers and a line of tanks. There were no civilians allowed within a certain distance of the airport and I could not see Hamish anywhere. He knew I would be worried, and was jumping up and down, frantically trying to catch my attention as I dragged my suitcase over the dusty road, towards a crowd of people kept back with barriers and armed guards.

I worked in a school with primary aged children of many nationalities. Our week was from Sunday to Thursday. Every Saturday morning Hamish would join me at the school for a football club, where he would coach the children. For safety the school had been moved to the French Embassy grounds, a beautiful area surrounded by high walls. One Saturday morning we became trapped in the grounds, rioting broke out on the street outside. Tanks arrived, and our car was nearly crushed as the soldiers moved down the road.

We also had a similar experience at a hotel where we were spending the evening with friends. The rebels set the cinema adjoining the hotel on fire and they broke into a liquor store opposite and smashed it up. We went onto the roof to see what was happening and one of our friends pushed us to the ground as the soldiers began to fire at us. All the women were issued a knife and put into a separate room. It was possible the rebels would break in.

I have to admit that only now when I recall these events do I fully appreciate the danger.

One year later the Charity transferred Hamish to Chattabridge. He was put in charge of a new printing shop. We bought a house, and settled into a hectic routine, in a very different location.

Each wedding anniversary brought excitement, we pictured the twelve months ahead, wondering, was this the year our special child would be born. Time passed, and I learned to hide my feelings when I failed to become pregnant. I longed to hold our baby, and be a Mum. Seven years later, after treatments and tests, I suggested to Hamish that someone else could carry his baby, a surrogate mother.

Hamish was not keen on the idea at first, but the procedure wasn’t difficult, so eventually he agreed.

Helen, a woman who worked at the printing shop actually volunteered when she heard through the office gossip what we planned to do. She was desperate for money to pay off her credit cards and rent, this seemed a good solution.

The pregnancy went well and in the tenth year of our marriage Mel Abraham was born.

Our lives were full of blessings, although the ongoing degenerative illness, first diagnosed in my teenage years, rapidly worsened. I focussed on my family, but when I tried to do too much the pain and joint discomfort meant I found myself in bed struggling to even move.

I eventually went to see Dr. Davies, our family Doctor. The joint pains had increased and my ankles were very swollen. The most worrying symptoms were the sickness and tiredness.

“You are pregnant Sari.”

Anxiousness and then initial disbelief turned into joy, I was expecting my very own baby.

The pregnancy wasn’t easy, and Mel was now a demanding four year old. I was grateful to Helen, she always seemed to know when I was exhausted, suddenly appearing on the doorstep ready to help.

The joyful anticipation of a beautiful new baby was lost, when paralysis overtook my legs, just as it had with my own Mum. Identically at the moment of new life, death was present. This was a replay of my own birth.

Hamish was crying, and I was devastated. Suddenly, after nearly twenty minutes, the lifeless bundle, enclosed in a sheet at the bottom of the bed, let out a resounding scream. This was our miracle.

After Issy was born our joy was unquenchable, however, life did not get any easier. Our lives seemed to be ruled by my sickness.


Jesus is enough. With Jesus as Lord of our lives we can be content in any circumstance.

Jesus says….When you desire Me with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, I fill up all other needs in your life. I give to you so that you may share with others. As you empty yourself, I fill you to overflowing with My Holy Spirit…..

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  2Corinth.12:9

My God is a wonderful, powerful and healing God. My testimony is to God’s Glory, He healed me from osteo, rheumatoid arthritis and osteo porosis. I was registered disabled for life, unable to walk or even stand with ease, and not long after Issy was born a wheelchair had become necessary for distances.

The morphine drug for pain made me dull mentally, I was a mess! However, as a follower of Jesus, God had blessed me with a wonderful peace about my situation and I was still able to use my hands to write on the computer works for God, until, I woke up one Sunday morning unable to move my hands. They were swollen and very painful. I was devastated, my peace left me and I felt there was nothing to live for. I prayed to go home to be with the Lord.

The specialist admitted me to hospital for a steroid drip, but said there was little he could do.

The miracle of healing began that night and despite the pain and swelling I awoke to discover a peace so sublime it was overwhelming. The healing began when a Christian nurse asked me if I believed Jesus could heal me. I did not hesitate, I knew He could. 

The peace was a spectacular spiritual healing that reached deep into my innermost being, a healing that was so awesome, I look back now and see it as the essential and vital recovery, far more important for me, than the physical miracle.

I went to sleep the following night physically disabled, unable to walk or move without severe difficulty, and yet the peace and joy bubbling inside filled me with excitement, and love from Jesus so exquisite and unconditional I was cocooned into His very presence.

I awoke feeling different. I could not understand why at first, then gradually it dawned on me that I had no pain anywhere in my body. I felt around and discovered holes where swelling had been in my hips and my hands were perfect. At that moment of discovery two nurses appeared and stared at me in disbelief. 

"Is that you Sari?

I remember thinking who else did they think it would be attached to a drip and stuck in bed!

One of them asked if I had seen myself. As you can imagine by this time I was rearing to go and for the first time in twenty years I leaped out of bed with no assistance, grabbing the drip stand and I headed for the mirror over a nearby sink. The person who looked out at me was unrecognizable. Gone was the steroid swollen face and looking back at me was the Julia of two decades ago. I was stunned. The Consultant was stunned. He said on that morning, and also wrote in a letter months later, "There are more things in heaven and on earth than we know or understand."

The osteo porosis had crumbled bones in my thumb and x rays had shown the osteo arthritis damage, yet every cell was restored to the perfection in which I had been created.