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Hope Springs Eternal

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 28 April 2013

At the same moment as The Bishop of London preached at the funeral service for Margaret Thatcher, “This is a place of hope”, I entered a place of deep despair.

Someone had invaded my computer.  A message had gone out to everyone I have ever known saying that we were in distress in the Philippines and that money was needed urgently to secure our safety.  I had been “hacked”.  Within minutes, a friend said, “Watch out. They have your details.”

The next few hours were spent in a frustrating whirl of technical phone calls and feverish tapping.  There were more wounds when I was told (by someone close to me) that had I done x or y, it would/could never have happened.  I was vulnerable and frightened, in a dark place seemingly of my own making.

Then came the first rays of light.  I heard from a much treasured friend living on the other side of the world.  He had meant for many months to be in touch but this prompted him to make sure all was well.  There were more unexpected calls from well-wishers and it was like Christmas in springtime with understanding, compassion and laughter emerging from the most unlikely places. Out of the darkness, I had actually stumbled on the God of surprises.

Of course I was deeply “hacked off”; however maybe I needed to learn, first-hand, the Easter message that when life feels most gloomy, God reaches out to us and sets us back on our feet, and that in God’s world, out of sight is not out of mind.  Or, as a kind member of St Martin’s congregation emailed to my new address, “So pleased you’re both well.  I feared it was a scam as it just didn’t seem to be Peter’s style.  Shame you didn’t get to the Philippines!”

Rt Revd Peter Hullah