SOMETIMES jaw-dropping, sublime miracles come in twos and threes. And sometimes they come to those who least expect them.
Miles Toulmin, associate vicar at Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, told the miracle story of a small English boy who grew up in Kenya in the early 1960s.
At the age of two, the boy had been sexually abused. His life was crippled by fear and anxiety.
The one good thing in his life were his next door neighbours, a middle-aged missionary couple whom the young boy loved. They would regularly pray with him.
The boy became a teenager and was sent to a boarding school where, tragically again, he was raped at the age of 17.
By his early 20, he was diagnosed as being HIV positive.
Despite his background he became a successful company director. But he was not a happy man.
In his mad moments, he visited male prostitutes. His life began to spiral out of control and he eventually lost everything – his partner, his house and his business.
Four years ago, this shattered man walked into a recovery course run by Holy Trinity church for those struggling with addictions. The pastor who ran the course said he looked like “a dead man walking”.
The pastor didn’t know what to do. He was advised by a parishioner to phone a prayerful old couple in their eighties who lived in the north of England and ask them to pray for the man to be healed and set free. So they faithfully started praying.
Six weeks later, the pastor reported, the man had “the most intense filling of the holy spirit accompanied by the most bloodcurdling wails of anguish and pain that seemed to emanate from the depth of his soul.”
“He was set free from his addiction,” said the pastor, “and in its place is a passion for Jesus that is as fervent as that found anywhere.”
At his last appointment at a hospital two weeks ago, the man was told the symptoms of the HIV virus had suddenly disappeared after 30 years.
Even more recently, just by chance, the pastor discovered that the old couple in the north of England who had prayed so passionately for that anonymous man were the same missionary couple that once lived next door to the boy in Kenya.