March 23, 2020

Julian of Norwich, a 14th century Christian mystic, had a series of visions from God while gravely ill (she later recovered and recorded them). In one, she saw a tiny object like a hazelnut in her palm, and God told her it contained all that God had created. As she marveled at its smallness and fragility, God revealed to her that it contained three key truths of all creation: God made it, God loves it, and God sustains it.

In these unprecedented pandemic days, I find myself turning to this and other revelations from Dame Julian. She grew up during the Black Death, in which an estimated ⅓ to ½ of her town’s population was decimated. She also survived political and religious revolts. In short, she knew her fair share of suffering and uncertainty. And yet she held to an unshakeable faith in the deep love of God for us, his created ones. 

I need to be reminded of these truths in these stressful days full of unknowns: God made us. God loves us. God sustains us. This was true in Dame Julian’s day, and it remains just as true in ours. We may not know what the future holds, but we can rest in the sure foundation of God’s love and sustenance for us. And we can pray with Dame Julian one of her more famous writings, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

Written by Jessica Means

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