One day – from his prayerful solitude on Inner Farne – he was looking out to sea across to Bamburgh castle. Penda, king of Mercia was laying siege to the castle and had piled wood around it and lit it intending to smoke out the king of Northumbria.
Here’s his prayer:
“Lord, see what evil Penda does.”
The wind changed and the fire and smoke blew back on Penda and his army – the castle (and king) was saved.
I love that prayer. It just sounds like a man so close to God that he merely points out something as if they are both looking over a gate together and grieving together at the state of the world.
No shopping list of needs or demands – no suggested solutions – just a sigh (I imagine) and “do you see that, God?”