I am invited to take a seat at a circular dining table, an empty plate laid at the place in front of me, waiting to be filled with food. The people gathered around me are mostly middle-aged, but a quick glance reveals that I have only met a small handful of them before. It’s the hosts, the convenors of our gathering, who are the people we all have in common.

On my right is a man who introduces himself as Pete and, to his right, is his wife, who greets me with a soft German accent, telling me her name is Mattie.

We soon start talking and, when Pete reveals how much he loves reading, I can’t resist mentioning my book, “Light through the Cracks“.

“What’s it about?” he asks.

His eyes light up when I tell him how it contains ten true stories, united by a common theme, in which life turns tough and God breaks in, with miracles of healing, provision, protection and, in one case, resurrection.

Then tentatively he tells me, “I’ve got a light through the cracks story of my own,” and my interest is piqued.

“It dates back to my school days,” he says.

“What happened?” I ask, and then his story comes tumbling out.


During the 1980s, Pete’s dad is a teacher at a leading independent school. It means that Pete and his younger brother both benefit from bursaries, which enables them to attend the school, as pupils, for a relatively affordable fee.

The school has a solid reputation for sporting prowess, with sport facilities that are widely admired. As a natural all-round sportsman, Pete makes the most of them, and he particular excels at hockey and cricket.

“I was caught up in a whirlwind of sporting fixtures,” he says, “Hockey in the winter and cricket in the summer.”

When Pete was 14, almost halfway through a home match, a nasty tackle results in his finger bending backwards.

“I was in agony,” he recalls. “It immediately started to swell and turn a deep shade of bluish purple.”

Off the pitch and through the changing rooms, he quickly finds himself sitting on a cushioned chair in the medical room, being attended to by the matronly school nurse.

“How did it happen?” she asks, leaning over to gently hold his hand, palm up, to inspect the damage to his finger. “I think it might be broken,” she says, “so I could splint it together for you.”

But then she pauses a moment.

“Do you believe in God?” she asks.

Pete doesn’t hesitate. He has only recently been confirmed, building on the baptismal vows that his parents made on his behalf as a baby, publicly declaring his faith in Jesus for himself.

“Yes,” he says, in answer to her question.

Clearly pleased with this response, the school nurse is emboldened. “Do you believe God heals today?” she asks him.

Again, he doesn’t hesitate. “Yes,” he says.

Before he can change his mind, the nurse is calling on the name of Jesus to heal Pete’s finger. His hand is still being cupped, palm up, in her hand.

“I remember looking at her and asking her what was going on,” he recalls, “because my hand suddenly started burning with an intense sort of heat, and I knew something was happening.”

Amazed, they both look down at his finger, as the bruising starts to dissipate and the swelling dissolves. It takes no more than ten minutes for Pete’s finger to revert to normal

“I don’t think you’ll be needing a splint after all,” she says, a twinkle in her eye, as she gently places his hand in his lap. “But you might want to be a bit more careful when you’re playing hockey.”


“It’s been ages since he shared that story,” Mattie tells me, as she leans across Pete to pass me a bowl of salad. “It’s a good one though, isn’t it?”

I nod my head in agreement, while simultaneously wondering whether school nurses would even be able to do this nowadays, and concluding they probably wouldn’t.

“Did you ever have any repercussions?” I ask Pete.

“Not at all,” he says. “I was back on the hockey pitch the following day, playing another match, my finger as good as new.” He pauses a moment. “My faith was also as good as new. I couldn’t quite believe that Jesus cared enough about me to heal me.”

When I ask his permission to share his story here, he willing gives it.

“If it inspires anyone to be bold in witnessing to Jesus in their workplaces, then I’d be delighted,” he tells me.


Is there a Christian in your life who, like Pete’s school nurse, has played a significant role in bringing God’s light through the cracks into your life? What impact did he / she have on you and why?

Or perhaps you are like that school nurse, a Christian being presented with regular opportunities to call on Jesus to heal the people in front of you? If this is you, what will it take for you to be bold in bringing God’s light through the cracks to those people?

You are welcome to answer these questions, or leave other constructive comments, below.

Image from Bruno via Pixabay



  1. I love this story! What a great school nurse. We need more like her. As you say, I imagine any school nurse these days would get into serious trouble if they prayed for a student. God is incredible!

    • Joanna Watson Reply

      The school nurse, in this story, is such an inspiration, isn’t she, Janet? If only there were the same freedoms now as there were back then …

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