The Hazelnut Vision

During our recent retreat we learnt a little of Julian of Norwich who lived during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Very little is known about her life, including her exact dates of birth and death. She is best known for her work “Revelations of Divine Love” or simply “Showings,” which is considered one of the first books written in the English language by a woman.

Julian of Norwich spent most of her life in seclusion as an anchoress, a religious hermit, at St. Julian’s Church in Norwich, England. Her name is derived from the church to which she was associated.

Her “Revelations of Divine Love” is a spiritual and theological work based on a series of visions she claimed to have received from God. In these visions, she experienced a deep understanding of the nature of God’s love and the redemptive power of Christ.

Julian’s writings have had a significant impact on Christian theology. Her work is notable for its profound contemplation of God’s love and the optimistic view of divine salvation.

Although she was not widely known during her lifetime, her teachings have gained recognition and admiration over the centuries.

On our retreat our speaker (Rev. Emily of Knowle) shared her vision about a hazelnut taken from Chapter 5 of Revelations of Divine Love:

“And in this he showed me a little thing, the quantity of a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand, as it seemed. And it was as round as any ball. I looked upon it with the eye of my understanding, and thought, ‘What may this be?’ And it was answered generally thus, ‘It is all that is made.’ I marvelled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to nothing for littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: ‘It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it. And so have all things their beginning by the love of God.’

In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it. The second that God loves it. And the third, that God keeps it. But what is this to me? Truly, the Creator, the Keeper, the Lover.

For until I am substantially “oned” to him, I may never have full rest nor true bliss. That is to say, until I be so fastened to him that there is right nought that is made between my God and me.”


God made it.

God loves it.

God keeps it.

In Psalm 139:13-18 we read this:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:13-18

God made you.

God loves you.

God keeps you.

God loves you just as you are, not as you should be.

Take time to reflect on this.

Join us for our next Reflection, Coffee and Conversation here


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