Personal Stories: Laurie Caldicott's story
I Felt Drowned And On Fire, Both At The Same Time!
Laurie Caldicott’s search for more of the Holy Spirit, in his early years, revealed some amazing cases of people being healed through prayer. His walk with God even led to the miraculous cure of his own damaged body in a wondrous way. Now leader of the Prayer Ministry Team at New Life Church, Durrington, this is his intriguing story.
“Have you ever felt in your Christian walk that there was something missing? This was my experience. Over a long period of searching, God led me into discovering that missing part – a deeper work of His Holy Spirit.
“I made a childhood commitment at Sunday School Festival at Sutton-in-Ashfield Baptist Church in August 1941, just before my 9th birthday, when I was evacuated in World War Two.
“I was confirmed at St. Mary’s, Handsworth, Birmingham by Bishop Linton, the rector, when I was 14 in 1946, and made an adult profession of faith at a mission in St. Mary’s led by Canon Bryan Green in 1949, aged 17.
“I was very influenced by my Bible Class teacher, Dr. Elsie Humperson who was somehow different to other Christians I knew. (I found out later in the early 1970s that she was baptized in the Holy Spirit as a child, but the rector would not let her talk about this experience).”
Laurie’s first encounter with the healing powers of the Holy Spirit, at the age of 18, was convincing, for the power of prayer was answered.
“In 1950, our then curate’s wife, Marjorie Roxborough, was confined to a padded cell after the birth of her first child. Her husband, Jim Roxborough, was later to become a bishop.
“This reminded the rector of when his wife was also badly affected by the birth of their first child when he was the Bishop of Persia (pre 1928) and the local Christians challenged him – ‘You teach our God is a God who heals. Why don’t we pray for Mrs. Linton?’
“They did and she was healed. So Bishop Linton asked a group of us who met early on Tuesday mornings to pray. (I expect others also prayed.) That day, Marjorie Roxborough was healed.”
The power of prayer is not always enough to heal, as was the case with a close member of Laurie’s family, but a startling appearance did console the family.
“Shortly after that healing miracle, my younger brother Reggie was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour; his body was numb all down the left side later. I prayed and prayed but six months later Reggie died. “
However, something incredible was about to happen. On the same day that he died he returned briefly from God’s paradise to hearten his mother.
“A little later, Reggie came back to life and said to Mom, ‘Mommy, it’s lovely in heaven with Jesus,’ and then died again. (He was seven and I was eighteen.)
“Shortly afterwards, I was on a Church Army recruitment weekend in London and gave testimony to this event at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park (a regular event for the Church Army in those days.)”
Recognising an absence from his life, Laurie had been looking for that illusive factor.
“This was part of my searching, for I knew something was missing in my life. Over the twenty years from 1950 to 1970, I annoyed some people by saying that the Spirit was missing from our life at the church I attended in South Oxhey, in Hertfordshire.
“In January, 1970, our vicar, Alan Woodland, invited a friend, the Rev. John Peyton, to lead a weekend on the Baptism of the Spirit and speaking in tongues. (Alan, John and Colin Urquart had trained together and Alan was searching for what they had found.)
“On the Friday evening John gave a talk and then invited a lady to give a testimony. However, she was the image of a lady at church in mannerisms as well as voice who annoyed me and many others, so I said to myself, ‘I’m not listening to her!’”
At that precise moment Laurie was urged by our Heavenly Father, not just once but twice, to reconsider.
“It felt as though God tapped my head and said ‘Listen!’
“I said, ‘No!’
“So He tapped my head twice and said, ‘If you don’t listen now, I can do nothing for you.’