Maol Iosa – Diary
For an explanation of the title and why we are publishing this diary, please see the first entry (27/3/13). I should make clear that the 2012 entries were written last year on the day of the events described or on the day after. Summary of today’s entry: A yo-yo day, good and bad – strange things that happened to us in the past – spiritual meaning – psychokinetic activitiy – background to these events – a picture of Jesus falls again – the lesson we took from it – surgeon phones with good news.

Servant of Jesus (7)
Thursday 5th July 2012

Today was a yo-yo day. In the evening the surgeon phoned with good news. In the morning Margaret was angry and upset and fired e-mails off to Scottish National Party MSPs and Councillors. It annoyed her that, apparently, Health Boards had to fulfil quotas of hernia and other minor operations and that this could mean that more life-threatening operations could be delayed. This is obviously not right. Of course, if there was enough money in the system, there would be more surgeons and the problem wouldn’t arise. But then, we live in the age of austerity, at least when it comes to public services. Not when it comes to the super-rich and bankers who get richer by the day.

Of course, when talking about riches, we must remember the first beatitude and its promise: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3) And that Jesus said: “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26) When one has a cancer diagnosis, it certainly concentrates the mind and makes one realise the brevity of life. Although you build up a nice home and garden, as we did, and become attached to them, you realise you cannot take them with you. Thinking that you might not live very long, makes you realise the truth of the words of Jesus.

Now, I have already told, elsewhere, the strange things that have happened to us, especially since we got married. For me, by far the most strange and awesome have been when objects have fallen with no-one near and, as it were, of their own volition, and not only that but when they did fall they appeared to be giving us a strong message. I know this sounds incredible and if someone else was telling me this I would find it extremely hard to believe. In my earlier life, when I was very sceptical about such things, I would have probably thought the person was making it up or that there was a mental illness involved, perhaps delusions. Well, the two of us have been witnesses to what happened. Neither of us has ever had a mental illness and why should we lie about something so important and in such circumstances as we find ourselves in?

We both believe strongly in God and his revelation in Jesus Christ and we believe that God is in the middle of all that is happening. Of course, what is spiritually happening to us – to our souls – is much more important than incredible kinetic happenings, but we believe the two are linked. It would be dreadfully wrong and putting our very souls in danger if we told lies about something so important. We just couldn’t do it.

As a result of the stick falling and all that happened to us at the time, in 2008-9, I bought a small table and placed four items on it: a framed print of the Turin Shroud image of Jesus, a framed print of a Romanian icon image of the Virgin Mary, a candle and a white stone (before I managed to get hold of a white dove, which I eventually got). The last two symbolise God and the Holy Spirit respectively. The framed print of Jesus is quite heavy and it would, under normal circumstances, be impossible for it to fall off the table unless pushed. In the last couple of months it has fallen twice from the table on to the floor, today and on Monday 28th May. On both occasions we believe it was telling us something. We believe this especially in the context of what happened previously on the occasions when the stick fell. We cannot say that it is definitely God who is telling us what to do or not to do. But there does seem to be messages from another dimension giving us warnings.

To give the background and context in which the picture fell the first time. We were planning a trip to Romania in September where I would be involved in a poetry workshop. I had already been collaborating with an Irish poet on writing a dialogue poem where I was writing from a Christian perspective and he was writing from within a more agnostic world-view. I did feel some doubts as to whether I should be participating in this kind of writing. Was I being true to God and Christ and the Holy Spirit after all that had happened in my life? I thought: I shouldn’t be writing things which aren’t going to further his kingdom.

Then on Monday 28th May the picture fell off the table, as I walked past some three feet away from it, as I entered the living room. No, it wasn’t vibration or anything like that. It fell to the floor face down. We were stunned. Margaret was sitting in the living room on the other side of the wall from the picture. What could it mean? That was the question uppermost in our minds. Two or three minutes after it fell, the phone rang. It was my friend the Irish poet. We discussed the trip to Romania and all we would do. I didn’t mention the picture falling. It was afterwards, when I came off the phone, that Margaret and I sat and talked and we linked the picture’s fall with the Romanian trip. We decided to cancel the trip, although the flights had been booked and the airfares paid. Margaret felt as if a burden had lifted off her. I felt something similar, for the reasons I mentioned.

Little did we know at the time that Margaret would get the diagnosis she did, on the 28th of June. But now we can see clearly that we couldn’t have gone to Romania anyway. Little wonder that we feel that the Lord is in the middle of it all. Actually, I had a feeling of dread and was aggrieved that it was the picture of Jesus that had fallen. That was a shock. If something else had fallen, but the print of Jesus! Why that? Was it meant to shock us? What did it all mean?

Unbelievably, the picture fell today again. I was in my room writing and I heard a thud. Margaret was going out the door near to the picture when it fell off the table. We were both shocked and amazed. Margaret swears she didn’t touch it and I believe her, for I have seen with my own eyes this kind of thing happening in the house before. We went and sat down in the living room and discussed what it could mean. I asked her what she was thinking as she was opening the door. She was going to see what the weather was like. She was so uptight about the diagnosis she had been given that she was thinking of going for a packet of cigarettes. It dawned on her there and then why the picture had fallen. It was telling her not to buy cigarettes.

She felt terrible. She said she would never smoke another cigarette. But also we felt we had to get out of the house for a while. It was so spooky. Over the past four years, from time to time, things like this had happened and we were a little afraid. Nevertheless, we also felt the nearness and presence of the Lord in a most wonderful way.

We went to Portree, the nearest town some 20 miles away to collect a prescription for Margaret. We sat in a cafe and had a coffee. We expressed our total amazement at what was happening. Between us, we had lived 134 years and we had never heard of anything so strange happening to anyone. O yes, poltergeist activity, but not a poltergeist with a message! We laughed as well. What if the tomato ketchup container on the next table jumped a couple of feet, I said, or fell off the table. She laughed. But it won’t, I said, because these things just don’t happen. Except in our house!

After we got home, in the evening, the surgeon phoned with good news. He had seen the radiographer’s report and he had confirmed that the cancer was
confined to the stomach. It was at an early stage and was operable. One lymph node was possibly also affected but that could be removed. He promised to phone the following evening after their team meeting and let her know more about the time and place of the operation.