It is autumn in the UK, and the leaves are turning beautiful shades of golden brown, burnt orange and deep red. The schools have returned for another academic year, much to the relief of many parents, up and down the country, who have been battling with the juggle of ‘home’ schooling their children, through the last few months since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The days are starting to draw in. There is a nip in the air.

Today is a bright and sunny day, and I am working from home. When the doorbell rings, I race downstairs to see who it is. Opening the front door, a brown package is sitting on the mat outside, and my postwoman is standing well back, watching and waiting for me to appear.

Stephanie has been the postwoman in my part of the city for as long as I can remember. We are on first name terms, and often have a brief chat, passing the time of day, exchanging pleasantries, putting the world to rights.

Today, she is clearly in pain, and it doesn’t take long for her story to come tumbling out.


“You won’t be seeing me for the next few months,” she informs me. “I’m having an operation on my foot, and I’ve got to go into quarantine for the next two weeks, before they’ll let me have surgery.” She grimaces, and visibly shifts weight, in her standing position. “There’s a lengthy recovery period afterwards,” she adds, “and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to return to work, because my round involves so much walking.”

“Wow!” I exclaim, “You kept it quiet about your foot. What’s the matter with it?”

She explains how there are problems with the bones and the ligaments, and some of them need to be fused together. “It’s caused by years and years of wear-and-tear,” she says, “which isn’t surprising for someone in my job, is it?”

I nod my agreement, and then a familiar surge of courage-and-compassion rises up within me, and I see her as Jesus sees her – a middle-aged woman, in pain, and needing healing.

“Has anyone prayed for you?” I ask, “Has anyone asked Jesus to heal your foot?”

She looks at me blankly, and I suddenly become aware of my next door neighbour, clearing his throat rather loudly from the other side of the wall that divides our driveways. He is only a few metres away, tinkering with his motorbike, but it reminds me that he can hear my conversation with Stephanie.

I could feel embarrassed. Instead, I send up some silent ‘arrow’ prayers, and I plough on.

“I’m a Christian,” I explain, “and I’ve seen people healed, when Christians pray for them, in the name of Jesus, so I’m just wondering whether you would like me to pray for you.”

“Do you mean, like, right here, right now?” she asks, clearly caught off guard.

“Sure,” I reply, “if you feel comfortable with that.”

“I guess there’s no harm in it,” she replies.

So I stand in my doorway, while she stands on my front law, and I pray a simple prayer. Out loud, aware that my next door neighbour is listening in, I thank God for Stephanie, for her health, her body, her feet, and all the walking that they do every day. And I take authority in the name of Jesus, and speak healing into her damaged foot, in the name of Jesus, commanding the bones to fuse together, the pain to subside, and the inflammation to disappear.

I say a hearty ‘Amen’ and, aware she is watching me wide-eyed, she hesitantly says ‘Amen’ too.

“See how it goes,” I say, “God can heal people supernaturally, but He can also use highly skilled surgeons.”

“I’ll keep you posted, no pun intended,” she says, grinning, as she heads off on her round.


Fast forward to the first week of January. We are in our third national lockdown since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and today is cold, damp and dark.

I am working from home, when the doorbell rings, and I leap downstairs, two at a time, to see who it is. Opening the door, a brown paper parcel is sitting on the mat outside, and Stephanie is grinning at me, standing about two metres back. It’s been three months since I last saw her.

“Stephanie!” I say, delighted. “How are you? How’s your foot? How did the operation go?”

She explains how the surgeon has been pleased with her recovery. Apparently, for someone of her age, it has happened remarkably quickly. The inflammation has disappeared, and her previously damaged foot is no longer causing her pain.

“Thank you for praying for me that time,” she says, shyly. “I wasn’t sure whether it would make any difference, but my husband says that I was much more peaceful than he thought I would be, and I wondered whether it was because of your prayer.”

She tells me how she felt a deep sense of peace while she was in quarantine, waiting for the operation, as well as during the surgery itself, and also in the long convalescence period that’s happened since.

“Please don’t thank me,” I say, “If you felt that sort of peace, it was God who was giving it to you, not me. All I did was pray, and point you to Jesus.”

We chat a bit more, and then she tells me that she needs to crack on with her postal round. She turns and strides off, her feet bouncing beneath her. It’s incredible to watch.

“Thank you Jesus,” I pray, out loud, as she heads along the road to continue her deliveries. “Thank you for giving her peace, and thank you for using the surgeons’ skills to heal her foot.”


If you’re anything like me, you probably take your postal deliveries for granted. It’s easy to forget that, week in, week out, our postmen and postwomen are trudging the streets of our towns and cities, in all weather conditions, to ensure our letters and parcels get to where they need to be.

If you have a postman or postwoman who covers your patch, why don’t you find out his or her name? Why not use this new year to start a conversation and begin to build a relationship? Over time, see where it takes you. Then perhaps, one day, God may open up an opportunity to use you to bring them blessing …

As ever, I’d love to hear your reflections on this in the comments below.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash


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