A letter from the Vicarage – Rev’d Andy Stand

I once came across this story of two men on the Internet:

They are both seriously ill in hospital sharing the same room. The one is forced to lie on his back all day and is unable to move. The other is allowed to sit up for just an hour each day. The two obviously pass quite a bit of their time chatting to one another, and for that hour a day, when he is able to sit up and see out of the window, he regales all that he can see out of the window in glorious technicolor detail.

For his friend, that hour each day becomes its highlight.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band -he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window.The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’

The internet post I saw ended with the following summary

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.

How often do we count our blessings and give thanks for them?

This month, we celebrate the Festival Of Pentecost, or the coming of the Holy Spirit. God’s gift of himself, to strengthen and sustain His people, to guide and nurture them. We give Thanks to God for that gift and for the many other gifts that follow from it.

I wonder, what might you, yourself, give thanks to God for as you count your blessings afresh.

Every Blessing


St. Philip & St. James Parish Church Whittington, Worcs. WR5 2RQ