I had an out-of-body experience the other day. Well that’s what it felt like.

I was reminded of Moses and the burning bush; or the three disciples who went up the mountain with Jesus and saw him speaking with God. Whatever it was, I was in a sacred space and I was treading on holy ground.

It was about half past three and the phone went. The daughter of a patient who we had seen at hospital was with her dad: now transferred to a nursing home. He was fast approaching the end of his life and the daughter wanted some prayers.

I offered to go to the nursing home and sit with her but she feared the home would not allow it and time was short. “What shall we do?” I asked. We decided to pray over the phone. My office is small, pokey and with brash fluorescent lights; not really the sort of place conducive to prayer but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. So I closed my eyes and, with the daughter on the end of the phone on speaker phone, I prayed some words at the close of this man’s story.

Immediately, the brashness of the lights dimmed and it was as if, for all the world, I was in the room with daughter and father. Even the business of the hospital and the noise outside my closed office door was dimmed. It was as if I could reach out and put my hand on this man’s head as I was giving him a final blessing. Even the smells and humidity had changed; and the silence was solemn and sacred. You might just put this down to my vivid imagination and you could be right. I don’t care, because in that time I felt I was totally at one with the people I had been asked to help.

It struck me afterwards, even in these days of Covid restrictions, how you can be really present with someone without being physically there. So go on, give someone a call today. You might just find yourself transported to another place entirely!