My Dear Friends, 

I am very much missing you in these days of Social Distancing. So many have spoken to me about a sense of isolation, loneliness and anxiety. 

In the 3rd Chapter of the Book of Daniel we read that King Nebudchadnezzar threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into a burning, fiery furnace. When, however, he saw these victims in the heart of the blazing fire, he called out in astonishment: “Did we not cast THREE men into the midst of the fire? Then, why do I see FOUR men?” Four men walking around in the fire, unhurt and untouched by the flames. 

Ernest Shackleton and his 27 explorers found themselves stranded in Antarctica with no means of communication. Shackleton and 2 of his men set out in a lifeboat to find help. When they landed on South Georgia, some 800 miles away, they still had to hike for 36 hours to reach the Whaling Station. It had been a long, dangerous, exhausting and trying journey. They did not talk about it at the time, but weeks later all three men reported an uncanny experience during their long trek. A feeling that “often there were four, not three” men on their journey. Who was this Mysterious Presence? The “Fourth Man” who accompanied them and walked with them by their side. Later Shackleton was to write: “When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us.” 

In the Book of Isaiah we read: “When you pass through the Waters – I shall be with you. Fear not for I am with you.” And in Hebrews: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” And in Matthew: “I am with you always – even unto the end of time.” We are never alone! 

Liz joins me in sending our love to you all,