I came across the following quote from Morris West's novel, The Clowns of God. And read it frequently, as another reminder of the importance of the work of our Aldersgate ministry. In the story, the pope is deposed because he reveals that he actually talks to Jesus, not just in prayer, but Jesus who has returned as Mr. Atha, to warn him again about the coming apocalypse. If I remember correctly, Pope Gregory XVII is basically exiled to a mountain-top retreat, where there is a camp for children with developmental disorders. Jesus visits him there for more conversation. He points out a young girl with mental retardation and says to him:
You need a sign. What better one could I give than to make this little one whole and new? I could do it, but I will not. I am the Lord and not a conjuror.
I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you - eternal innocence. To you she looks imperfect - but to Me she is flawless, like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by the ants. She will never offend Me, as all of you have done. She will never pervert or destroy the work of My Father's hands.
She is necessary to you. She will evoke the kindness that will keep you human. Her infirmity will prompt you to gratitude for your own good fortune... More!
She will remind you every day that I am who I am, that My ways are not yours, and that the smallest dust mite whirled in darkest space does not fall out of My hand...I have chosen you. You have not chosen Me. This little one is My sign to you. Treasure her.