This is going to be a long and possibly boring post; you may want to skip it. This is material I would normally put in a private journal, but for some reason I want to put it here even though it will be a long and rambling, unedited, unstructured first draft. I am just documenting things for the sake of the record that they took place. The past 48-hour period has been… one amazing thing after another.
#1 – The students turn dark to light
On Friday I filled in for the Level 3/4 teacher in the afternoon. We were learning to use transition words in structuring paragraphs. I found a neat exercise where I put them in groups of four or five and give each group a sentence with which to start a story. They have to come up with twelve more sentences to complete the story while using their new words (e.g. therefore, as a result, nonetheless, first, next, in conclusion). But all the opening sentences on the worksheet were so pessimistic. One was “Scientists have discovered that three days from now the sun will explode and the earth will be destroyed.” Another was, “The students decided that they hated their teacher.” All six sentences were similarly negative! I didn’t have time to write substitute sentences for all of them, so I went into class with most of them in tact.
To my wonder and delight, the group who got the exploding sun scenario ended their story with people praying to God for a miracle. Other groups took their dismal story beginnings in the direction of the Light, as well. I had no idea this would happen.
The next exercise involved their writing paragraphs entitled “My favourite place.” Three or four of the students named church or mosque as their favourite place. I went from desk to desk reading descriptions of chapels, gardens and prayer rooms where my students describe feeling at peace.
#2 – Meeting an Earth Angel
As I said, I was drawn to a new couple (recent immigrants to Canada) at our language practice circle and ended up visiting them at their apartment and then, at the end of my visit, inviting them to dinner at my place. I was aware that this was out of character for me and was also aware that I didn’t yet know why I was drawn to them.
When we exchanged emails, I noticed the footer was very religious. When I visited them at their place, just about the first question out of E’s mouth was, “Do you believe in God?” I spent the next 15 minutes or so recounting the story of my awakening.
Between that day and their coming to dinner, we exchanged a few emails. In trying to explain why my next free night wasn’t for two weeks, I shared some of the things I’m involved in, including the ACIM group that meets at my place, palliative care training, etc.
Last night we shared a meal with E and his partner G, while I acted as Spanish-English interpreter for Sylvain and G. They asked me what ACIM is about. I did my best to explain it, though abstract concepts are a challenge in a second language. E then spent the next couple of hours sharing the story of his awakening and the many miracles that have followed. Their life today is one miracle after the other, they told us, from coming to Canada to how God continues to provide for their every need…right down to the other day when they prayed about not having cups to drink out of only to get a knock on the door the next day from my coworker who had come bearing a housewarming gift: a set up cups.
I can’t share all of what he shared because it’s private and his identity is only thinly veiled. But it was intense, way out there. It was also all couched in the framework of Catholicism, healings, intercessions and saints. I have very few dealings with or knowledge of that world and have only known two truly devout (by my definition) Catholics in my life. Both of them are far away now, and we rarely have contact.
Before they left, E gave us both some advice. He said that before we go to sleep at night, we should pray and ask God to give us nocturnal instructions.
And so I did that.
In the morning I awoke in a rare state of lucid dreaming that continued after I awoke, something that has happened two or three times in my life. Everything was vivid and easily recalled. This triggered a spiritual revelation that brought tears. Then I reached for my BlackBerry–I don’t know why–and saw that I had a message from the friend of a dear friend (one of the two devout Catholic friends with whom I have contact only rarely…the last time was over a year ago). He informed me of a bad accident my friend had this year and asked for my prayers for her healing and also for help with the canonization of a saint. If this saint heals her, that miracle will help count toward his possible canonization.
I shook my head in wonder. (And yes, I prayed.)
There was also a message from a friend who had asked to accompany me to Unity saying she wasn’t coming with me after all.
I went into the bathroom, where I keep three books so that reading the day’s lessons and meditations comes right after brushing my teeth but before bathing. The Daily Meditation for December 12 spoke directly to a problem–one I’d been struggling with for a few days. (Challenging relationships.) I realized that the problem was being created by ego and the solution was in opening to the Holy Spirit, to use the terminology of the resources. This was a powerful and difficult revelation because I don’t want to listen to this answer. This answer requires me to swallow my pride and go along with something that my ego says I shouldn’t have to go along with. But I do feel Love calling me to try the other way.
# 3 – Meeting T
I went to my new church. Snow was falling fast, requiring my windshield wipers to be on medium-high. The message spoke to me so loudly that I had to take a pen out of my purse and start taking notes.
Where does God fit in this challenge? Arlene spoke of challenging relationships. We are called to let go of how we think it should be… Give birth to your own Christ nature.
Sitting there listening to the sermon I realized that my so-called “problem” is not about the other person (the one I find challenging); it’s about me and Sylvain, about our hearts. We have a limitless capacity for Love. It is within our power to bring harmony into a situation. Bring forth the Divinity in others. Be at peace in the midst of the chaos. Arlene brought up the quote: “Live in such a way that those who know you but don’t know God come to know God because they know you.”
After the service I felt inexplicably drawn to two people, a man who’s been attending for some years and his guest who was there for the first time. We went together to the fellowship room for coffee and treats. Since he is blind and his friend ran off to get his free book from the bookstore, I offered to bring him a plate. We sat and talked. The “coincidences” kept coming. By this point I was starting to feel like a star gazer during a meteor shower. The Tai Chi teacher he’s been hoping to hook up with is the co-leader of my meditation group and the co-leader of the ACIM group that meets at my home on Sundays. Pretty soon we were exchanging emails so that I can send him the meditation group details. I mentioned that I just finished a Reiki course. He practices Reiki and can hook me up with other Reiki sharing circles outside of the one I attend through hospice. (This is key for me because my experience during the training left something to be desired and I have been searching for the missing puzzle piece.) He is interested in learning Therapeutic Touch and wondered aloud if I knew when/where that is offered. Yes, I just got notice of a new class starting soon via my Hospice newsletter.
The next thing I knew, there was a man standing at our table saying that he teaches yoga at the same community centre where my friend G teaches Tai Chi. Of course they know each other well and in fact ran into each other the other day in the parking lot of my building. Mind you, this church is a good 14 km from my home…about as far away from my end of town as you can get and still be in this city.
And then before I knew it, I was mentioning (I don’t know why… I haven’t mentioned this to anyone except Sylvain before) Rick’s wife Julia’s latest book. T asked me if I knew where he could get his hands on it. I said through Amazon, Saint Martin’s Press or any bookstore. He mumbled something about needing audio format. Okay, here’s where it gets really freaky. I just happen to have a PDF of the book THAT TALKS. I discovered BY ACCIDENT one day that the PDF will read itself to you (View – Read Aloud). Are there any accidents???
By this time I’m starting to hum the Twilight Zone theme.
My cell phone rang. It was Sylvain asking me to let him know when I’d arrived home safely, as roads were slippery. My new friend T commented that Sylvain must be a very caring person. “He’s amazing. Yes, very caring.”
I left with two invitations to the December 20th Christmas Candlelight Service. I don’t yet know whom they are meant for.
I brushed the snow off my car and went shopping for my baking ingredients. I love that I had so many hours before people were to arrive at my house. I could spend two hours in the bulk good store slowly wandering the aisles if I so chose.
Back home again. The phone rang mid-way through the second batch of very ginger cookies. It was one of our group of seven cancelling due to the inclement weather. Then I noticed a voice mail flashing. It was from the group facilitators saying they also were not coming. I caught myself hoping the remaining couple would still show up.
They removed their coats and began settling in the living area. I was still in the kitchen when I overheard L telling Sylvain about a book they had found at Value Village (a second-hand store) today. “Is this any good?” she was asking. “Can we use this with ACIM?”
It’s one of the three books in my bathroom that I read from each morning (Thank you, O).
“We couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I was looking for a romance novel for my daughter. It stuck out among the tattered novels. It’s brand new, never even been cracked open.”
She then proceeded to read today’s passage aloud to Sylvain. I stopped her so that I could whisper something to Sylvain. I told him that this passage had given me an answer to my dilemma…one he knows I’d been grappling with. I asked L to begin again from the start. She did.
I shared the (so-called) problem and each of them became my teacher.
We had an awesome class with an energy much different from when all the members are in the room. It was good. They were free and spontaneous in a way that doesn’t happen as much when the official teachers are in the room.
At Sylvain’s request, we talked about the passage that says, “I seem to have problems only because I am misusing time. I believe that the problem comes first, and time must elapse before it can be worked out. I do not see the problem and the answer as simultaneous in their occurrence.”
I have to head to bed now, or I’m sure I could sit here and remember eleven more astonishing alignments from my day.