Most people have never heard of Agnes Sanford (1897-1982) but she has been and, in fact still is, a dear friend of mine. She was an interesting woman who was born to missionaries in China, married an American Anglican ( Episcopalian) and became mother to three children. Agnes suffered post-partum depression and and was diagnosed as suicidal when one of her children came close to dying. A tiny flame of hope was lit within her heart after her son was healed physically and she slowly began the process of her own emotional healing. “The Healing Light”, Agnes’ first book describes her early spiritual journey and reveals a warm, loving, wise and gentle pioneer who was down to earth and most importantly to me, she was an avid gardener. I absolutely adore her.
Just like Agnes, I let my kids play with almost anything because I had a lot of kids and limited funds. I taught them all how to improvise and make due with whatever was at hand, much to my husband’s chagrin. Similarly, Agnes’ husband once threw up his hand up in frustration, as he struggled to walk around cushions and sheet forts in his living room, and complained that she let the kids play with everything except her wedding ring and the Bible! Once again I really like my co- conspirator, Agnes.
One night, while struggling to centre myself in The Lord’s Presence, a crazy, impulsive thought popped into my mind. Without analysing or questioning theological implications, I asked the Agnes to pray for me. Immediately I experienced a warm, emotional embrace of love and sheer joy as I heard interiorly, “My dear, you have my undivided attention. No one asks me to pray for them because I was a Protestant, you know!” I laughed and laughed, in fact I am grinning like a fool right now.
I don’t want to argue theology, I just want to encourage other women with the thought that there are tens, hundreds, why maybe thousands of sisters, most of whom we will never meet, who pray for us. As Saint Paul said there is a cloud of witnesses, both living and dead, cheering us on as we journey towards the Lord. The Holy Spirit is my companion but in His Body, He has gifted me with many other faithful companions and Agnes is one of my special friends.