Last year I was obsessed with shopping for spirituality.
I had just returned from my trip to Nepal where I had meditated in the birth place of the Buddha, and I was hooked.
So over the next few months I visited every Buddhist temple in London, I went to churches and mosques and listened where ever people prayed.
But it was a moment with the Quakers that stuck with me as unexplainable and truly magical.
We had been praying in silence for an hour
like every Sunday morning.
This had been my first time with them.
It would also be my last.
My faith is hard to explain but best described by a mix of Buddhism and Christianity.
I enjoyed sitting with a group of strangers, peacefully, united in contemplation.
There was no discussion of the Bible as one might expect, only some short announcements of community activities at the end.
After that, everyone got up to chat, but a group of elders stood apart.
I was there more for the quiet than for the talking, but curious, I followed them.
A group of three people,
by far the oldest in the group,
walked into a separate room
while all others remained in the main hall.
All but me.
One woman was hanging around the door while the rest entered.
“Is there another meeting happening?” I asked her.
She explained to me that once a month, the healers gathered to pray for the group.
“Actually, one of us is missing today, she’s sick. Would you like to join?”
To my surprise, I said yes!
This was definitely out of my comfort zone, but the only other time I had heard of healers was in dungeons and dragons or on Internet forums.
What did healing look like in real life?
We sat on each side of a table
with a bowl of names in between us.
There was a festive but serious mood in the air.
After some readings, we all picked names that had been submitted to us by the group, said them aloud, and held the pieces of paper in front of us.
I had been told to imagine their names entering a pool of white water to symbolise the healing.
We spent a while solemnly taking turns reading names.
At the end, there was time for us to say any names that came to us.
I hadn’t planned to say anything, but then I did.
And I said a name,
an obscure, strange nam,
that just came to me.
And everyone turned to me in shock.
By the look on their faces they knew this person.
I did not.
We continued, but clearly something strange had happened.
Even after the ritual was done, I could feel the elders eyeing me up.
I felt uncomfortable, maybe I had done something wrong?
When leaving, I exited through a different room, and a poster caught my eye.
It was a picture of all the members of the Quakers group with all their subgroups.
And at the very top there was a picture of a woman I had never seen before: Keziah.
Somehow, I had spoken the name of the person
whose place I had taken,
who was at home sick,
praying for her with her community.
I still have no explanation for this, and it’s one of the most magical things that has ever happened to me.
How about you, do you have any similar unexplainable moments in your life?
I would love to hear about them!