Thursday, 12 August 2021

The Chain Of Events


It had been a long, hot and tiring train journey. The train had been delayed for over two hours because of engine failure, and the passengers had to wait there in the heat, with no refreshments or relief, until they brought a new locomotive to replace the faulty one. It got so hot and stuffy that Father Ignatius took off his clerical collar and put it in his pocket, and unbuttoned the top button of his shirt.

When they finally arrived at the station it was well past ten o'clock at night. An exhausted Father Ignatius took a taxi to his hotel.  

It was a small inn, which is all he could afford. Most of the staff had gone and the kitchen was closed. There wasn't even a porter to carry his luggage. The night-receptionist gave him a key and told him to go up to the third floor.

When he got to his room the priest turned the key in the lock but the door would not open. He tried again, and again, to no avail. It was as if the door was locked from inside. He was about to give up, and face the long journey down the stairs again, when suddenly the door opened.

Standing there in her night clothes was a young woman holding tight at her dressing gown. Rather foolishly she had opened the door.

"What do you want?" she said.

He looked at his key and the door number and, "I ... I ... I believe this is my room!" he muttered showing her his key.

"Who are you?" she asked, ignoring his explanation, and closing the door slightly.

"I'm Father Ignatius ..." he replied touching his neck and realising he did not have his white collar.

"Father? Father?" she repeated, getting somewhat agitated, "you're not my father!"

"I'm a priest," he replied picking up his luggage from the floor and deciding to leave, "I'll check with the receptionist. I'm sure all will be well in the end."

"That's what they all say," she cried, "my solicitor, my friends ... everyone ..." and she started crying.

He realised that the wise thing to do is stand still and say nothing. Let her cry until she calmed down. After a minute or so she said, "go away!" and shut the door.

The next morning he was at his table finishing breakfast in the dining room. She entered the room and made a bee-line to his table. As she approached, he stood up. It was a courtesy his mother had impressed on him years ago when he was a little boy. "Always stand up in such occasions," she taught.

"May I join you?" she asked.

As they sat down, she continued, "I wish to apologise for my bad behaviour last night!"

Not the sort of statement a priest would like overheard in a crowded dining room; especially since now he had his clerical collar on.

She explained that she was in town to go to Court to fight for custody of her son. Her husband cheated on her and she was going through a most acrimonious divorce. When she was at work, he called at home and took away their son who was being cared for by the nanny. She had not seen him for two years. Her husband, a rich businessman, had argued in Court that she was not a fit mother to look after the two year old boy.   

She was struggling to hold back her tears. After several legal attempts this was perhaps her last chance to regain her son whom she had lost. In the bitter divorce that ensued he had become an unwilling pawn to be used in the battle between them.

The priest said a silent prayer then, hesitantly, because he did not know the woman or her beliefs or religion, he said, "I believe there is a higher power who is in control of everything He has created. We call Him God. What I would advise is that you trust Him. You may not believe in God, but somehow, if you possibly can, trust Him. I'll do the believing on your behalf. Trust Him, that His will be done. Whatever His will is!"

He doubted that what he said did help her. She did not say much. She thanked him and left the table without having breakfast.

About two months later or so, when he was back at his Parish church of St Vincent, he received a letter containing a generous cheque.

She said she had got his name and address from the receptionist at the hotel. She had won the Court hearing and little Timothy was restored back to her with the father having visiting rights. She added, "you were right that night at my door when you said all will be well in the end".

She promised to visit Father Ignatius with her son next time she was in town.


  1. I love this! How different the outcome, perhaps, if that clerk hadn't given Fr. Ignatius the wrong key. Everything happens for a reason.

    1. True, Mevely; everything happens for a reason. Remember when Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers? Later he became a major figure in Egypt and saved many people, including his family, from famine. Moses was abandonned in a basket by his mother. He was influential later in life in getting the Jews out of Egypt.

      God always finds a way of turning a bad situation for the good. I have seen it often.

      God bless, Mevely.

  2. The visit to your house was a PLEASANT surprise today. I enjoyed the read. I have been having trouble for extended downloads via cell phone. BUT I will overcome. Looking forward to reading more about Father Ignatius.
    Sherry & jack
    knowing the heat will soon be less here.

    1. I did not know you read my posts on the cell-phone, Jack. I don't use my cell-phone much. It's too complicated. Whenever it rings I press the wrong button and take a photo of my ear.

      Some of my Fr Ignatius books can be downloaded FREE from

      Hope the weather cool a little where you are. Here we need some rain.

      God bless you and Sherry.

  3. Oh, how I love this story, Victor! God worked everything out for the good in the end.

    1. God often, (always), does work things out for the best. I know.

      God bless, Martha.

  4. Nice when things end happily! :)

  5. I'm pleased it ended well :)

    All the best Jan

    1. It's great to see you here again, Jan. Thanx.

      God bless always.

  6. Dearest Victor,
    What an excellently written store.
    Makes for a good read and one with a strong message!



God bless you.