Some 30 years ago, when i had just started my first proper job as a Registered nurse at a hospital in Bethnal Green, London. We were originally told that pay day was two week’s away or so we all thought, but as it turned this was not so.
As pay day came nearer we were informed that actually we wouldn’t be paid for another four weeks. Having not had a job for a number of months and living on next to no money for the two weeks up to the expected pay day, i was almost out of money and had been living on rations. I counted out the few pence that i had left and went to the nearby shop to see what i could buy. In the end i bought six cheese triangles, a small loaf of bread and some cup-a-soups, of which i think there was ten.
Over the next week and a half i lived on these meagre rations, but there came a point when i was on my last meal. I did not know anyone, i was far away from family and it would never have occurred to me to ring home and ask for money. I drank my last cup-a-soup with tears streaming down my face, pleading with my Heavenly Father to send help, what help i did not know.
After i had eaten and cried and prayed i stood up and walked to the sink in my room to wash my face. Splashing cold water on my face and allowing the water to drip off my chin, i stood up to look in the mirror above the sink. There at the side of me was a face, a face that was so real I quickly swivelled round to see who was there, but of course my room was empty. I walked to the door and tried the handle, but it was locked as it had been all along. Although perplexed, I did not feel afraid of what i had just seen. I dried my face and laid down on my bed to read.
Shortly afterwards there was a knock on my door. I wasn’t expecting anyone. In fact, except for the nurses i worked with and my family back in Yorkshire, no one knew i was there. I turned the key in the door and opening the door slowly in front of me stood a man, in a suit and tie, a stranger, and unknown.
He spoke to me and said ‘I came because I felt you needed me?’
It turned out that this man was the Bishop, the man in charge, of the local church unit. I cannot even remember his name now. I invited him in and explained the situation to him. He gave me enough money to buy food for that evening, the following day and to get a bus to his house the following evening where he would make sure i had enough money to last me for the rest of the month.
God was listening. God heard my prayer. He did not send all the money in the world, but just enough so that i could eat. After 30 years i have never forgot this experience and yet if that Bishop stood in front of me today i probably wouldn’t recognise him. The face in the mirror? Who knows? An angel? A Spirit Guide? But someone was watching over me that night.