Tuesday, 24 April 2012

St. John of God Continued

Icon, "St. John of God carrying the Christ Child,"
by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

Ever since last Thursday when I got the news about my heart, I have been reflecting on what could have actually happened.  I continue to come to the conclusion that we have experienced a miracle -- an undeserved gift from God.

I had already started working on this second icon of St. John of God but have spent many hours bringing it to completion over these past days -- even while my dear friend, Brenda, has been visiting.  Often I would awaken in the night thinking of the icon, of St. John of God and of my healthy heart and then just have to get up and spend some more time working on this icon.  I think I am satisfied with it now -- we'll see.

The original drawing that I worked from was one of St. John carrying an emaciated boy with a Spanish city in the background.  I was inspired at some point to consider that child to be The Child, Christ Jesus, under the appearance of a poor, sick Spanish boy.  Perhaps that is how St. John of God often felt as he went about gathering up the sick and downtrodden and bringing them to his "house of mercy", his "hospital".  What follows is a description from his  biographer of what he actually did.

"As John of God's fame spread, many people came to the house, so many in fact that there was barely standing room because he used to go out searching for those who were turned away from other hospitals. He kindly persuaded them to go to his place.

Aware of their needs, he rented another much larger house and filled it with cripples and all sorts of sick people. If they were unable to walk, he carried them upon his back. He also carried the bedding so that they, and the itinerants going there, could sleep upon it. He was able to manage and keep this place in better order. he set up some beds for those who were in greater suffering.  Our Lord provided some nurses to help him serve them whilst he went out searching for alms, medicines and other means for curing the sick.

As John of God's charitable work increased, so too did the requirements and needs of the house.  Many important people both at Granada and beyond, began to take notice of it. They particularly noticed John's perseverance and his good management which kept on growing from good to better. They noticed that not only was he giving shelter to itinerants and the homeless. He also set beds apart for the sick to be nursed. He was given credit to buy necessities for the poor and alms began to flow in far more than before. These took the form of blankets, sheets, pillows, clothing and other items.

All manner of poor and needy folk came to him. There were widows, innocent orphans, the genteel poor, people with lawsuits, wounded soldiers and poor, out-of-work, farm labourers on account of the disastrous drought that year... "
 If any of you out there have any comments to make regarding my recent experience, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog or send me an email.

I continue to feel truly blessed by the prayers of all my friends and acquaintances, such as Brother Finnian in Ireland, and my Heavenly intercessors such as St. John of God.



I continue to collect photo of various types of "monkeys" (including baboons and gorillas).  I have always found their behaviour fascinating as it is so easy to see ourselves painted in broad strokes in the various antics and squabbles of these primates.

Following are some recent and some older photos that I find both enjoyable and instructive.

Whoa!  Hold on there little one!

Monkey Mother and Child -- even the animal kingdom teaches us about mother love (not always, it's true, but frequently)

This has got to be a little boy gorilla on his mama's back!
"I do hope that she will grow up to be as beautiful as her mama!"



Well, this first part is not about Suki or Sallie, but about two of my former cats:  Mr. Ginger and miz k.d.

The reason for mentioning them is that Mr. Ginger, although deceased, was spotted by my friend, Brenda, one night on the weekend!

Mr. Ginger and miz k.d.  (both deceased)

I was just about to fall off to sleep when I heard Brenda call out, "Sallie, there is a big, orange cat in here!"

Amazed, I jumped up, wondering how on earth a cat could have possibly gotten into a locked apartment.  As I hobbled into the living room where Brenda was sleeping on the sofa, I was thinking to myself, "this is just not possible."

As I rounded the corner of the room divider, I saw Brenda sitting up looking very puzzled.  "Where is the cat?" I called out.  By this point, Brenda started shaking her head and smiling and apologizing all at the same time.  "I think I was having a very realistic dream," she said, sheepishly.

We both begin to laugh.  She then went on to describe what she had seen.  I said that it sounded just like Mr. Ginger, my orange tabby, now deceased.  We laughed and talked a bit more and then both returned to our respective beds.

"What's this cat doin' in my house?"

The next morning, I showed Brenda of photo of Mr. Ginger.  (see photo above)  "That's the cat," she said in amazement.  So, you see, we had a visit from dear, departed Mr. Ginger.  Now I am awaiting a visit from the "princess," miz k.d.  So long as Suki does not notice, I think I can look forward to further visits from my dearly departed kitties! 

As for me, I continue to do exceedingly well. 
Brenda and I have had a wonderful visit.  She will be leaving early tomorrow morning to return to Alabama.  I will certainly miss her very much.  I will now have to look forward to her next visit.  I told her that next time she will have to come when I am feeling well, not when I am at my worst.  Of course, I was only feeling bad for the first day and half that she was here.  Ever since the angiogram, I have been feeling great.
This takes me right back to where I began tonight -- to all of you:  my friends, acquaintances, St. John of God and all the angels and saints.  I am so full of the joy of God which is my strength!

May the peace and mercy of God be with us all.

1 comment:

Amra Porobic said...

What a great icon, and what a lovely story about a special visitation! The only part I didn't like is when you "jumped up" from your "bed". Please please please, no jumping up, ever again.