All will be well, and all manner of things will be well
Julian of Norwich lived in a very challenging time. In the 14th century there was The Black Death and there was extreme poverty and inequality. As we live with COVID and our own issues of poverty and inequality, we might well be able to draw on another of Julian of Norwich’s visions.
A second well known vision was about sin: why has God not prevented sin? She realised that in her longing for God, “I now saw that nothing stopped me but sin”. She questions, why did God not prevent sin? It hurts! If it wasn’t for sin, then all would be well. That’s a question that many of us have probably asked God over the 600 years since Julian of Norwich did! Why is there sin?! In the vision, she couldn’t see sin itself, but rather the pain it caused. This reminds me of the verse in Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Sin often starts as simply a thought, but the consequence can be very visible pain: no wonder Paul was quick to encourage Godly thinking!
In the vision, the greatest pain that she saw was Christ’s pain on the cross, making her very aware of what He’d done for us. This also reminds me that there is nothing that I experience that He hasn’t also felt. He understands.
But after this vision of pain she heard a tender and comforting response from God: “it is true that sin is the cause of all this pain, but all will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well”. “Through these words I saw an unfathomable mystery hidden in God which he will make clear