Harry Murphy has it all: A happy marriage, robust health, a successful career. Yet as he approaches fifty Harry begins to wonder about an issue which has not previously interested him: How well is he doing spiritually? Follow Harry as he begins to examine his spirituality by recording and analysing his dreams: What he finds there will alarm and amaze him, and will radically change his life.
He opened his eyes to see an angel. He recognised her from the pictures and descriptions given to him at his Methodist Sunday School lessons. She was enclosed in a sheath of golden light, and a halo of the same light circled her head. Her hair, too, was golden and cascaded about her shoulders in tight, yellow curls. She floated in front of the young boy’s wide-eyed gaze, and smiled at him with her mouth and her eyes and her face and with her entire being. The love which she felt for him was tangible and warm. There was no place here for ice, or snow, or frigid waters. There was no place here for coldness of any kind. She held out her hand, and Titch took it.
Together they floated towards a beautiful city of light. The many tall buildings seemed to be made of glass, glowing in all imaginable colours. It reminded the boy of the ‘Illuminations’ which he had seen the previous winter at Blackpool, on a day-trip by coach arranged by his Sunday school; but these colours were far more beautiful.
The fact of his situation registered, finally, and his small features creased into an expression of confusion and fear. “Am I dead?” he asked his angel. “Are you taking me to Heaven?” The angel made no reply, and the two continued their journey over the gleaming rooftops. They crossed the city and left it behind them. An unknown amount of time passed – minutes or hours, Titch was quite uncertain – before they came at last over more familiar territory, and the boy recognised the small coal-mining village on the outskirts of Sheffield where he had lived for the ten long years of his young life. Along the canal they drifted, to a spot where the snow had been cleared, where a group of young boys were clustered over something – someone?—lying, unmoving, on the snow covered bank of the waterway.
“That’s me, isn’t it?” Titch asked. “That’s my dead body, I know it. Why have you brought me back to my dead body? When are you going to take me to Heaven to be with Jesus?”
“It is best that you should not ask these questions.” The reply formed itself in the boy’s mind. His angel had not turned, not moved her lips; but she had spoken to him. “Who are you?” Titch asked. He sought frantically amongst the sketchy memories of his Sunday School teachings. “You can’t be God because you’re a girl! Who are you, then? Are you the Mother Mary? Are you the Angel Gabriel?”
“It is best that you should not ask these questions,” the spirit replied again. “What happened was not meant to happen, and I have come to correct the situation. It is best that you should not know of me, not yet, nor remember any part of what happened here today. I will make it so.”