“I like your Christ, I don’t like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.“ ~ Ghandi
I never understood why, growing up in a Methodist church in the South, if God is only Love, there are a thousand religions and a thousand churches and people translating the Bible so many different ways.
I also didn’t understand if Jesus is God’s only son, than who are we? And if God is Love then why do people preach fear? And how are there wars over religion, but yet God is only love and breathed the first breath in all of us? Not just Christians.
How could I fear God? That would mean I am fearing a part of myself, because the Kingdom of heaven is within. These questions came, but I wasn’t to ask questions. I live in the Bible Belt.
Many beliefs say to become like a child. Children are curious, unconditional and just are simply love…until we start cramming information down their throats. Kids start off in wonder, a question mark, and then we create just a period for them. I say this is how it is, because this is how I was raised and this is all I know.
It came to me one day, that if I grew up Muslim, and had a happy family life, I would probably think that Islam is the only way. I became curious, kind of like a child.
I noticed that the Bible had been translated four times and there are books not put in the Bible. So I continued to call myself a Christian, but it didn’t feel right in my heart, that this was the only way.
Then I met someone, funny how the universe works, who was just simply a presence of Love. It blew me away. When I met this man, I didn’t know what it was about him.. His eyes were so humble and kind. They even sparkled. He asked nothing. He just simply held space and listened. He simply was unconditional love and I had never experienced that in my life.
He did not preach, at all, he just was…and simply looked at me as if I was already whole and complete. I became more curious. What was this presence? It was almost as if I recognized him but didn’t know from where? Then I heard him speak of a book called A Course in Miracles that had changed his life. Oprah speaks of it a lot on her show. I knew I had to get this book.
It is a channelled text. The voice of Jesus came through to Helen Shucman, a woman who was on the verge of being atheist in the 70s. When I read it, I was blown away. Everything finally made sense and miracles started happening daily. Doors began to open, and I began to see a whole new world, that had always been here, and I had seen it as a child, but had slowly forgotten.
Jesus through A Course in Miracles is unwinding the reader’s mind back to God; uncovering a seed that is already within all beings. An overview is that Jesus says he is an elder brother, the one guiding the way for us to walk the path he walked. That he can’t do it for us, he points us to look inside and shift our perception of everything, by only seeing the light and love of God in ourselves and in everyone around us. Non-dualism.
Jesus walks beside us guiding the way to our own forgiveness lessons. That, “Every loving thought is true, everything else is a cry for healing or help.” It is the loving story of all beings and teaches the unreality of this world. That we are upset because we think we are separate from God. Over the course of a year slowly it shifts the reader into seeing that all we ever see is the past, or future, which leads to anxiety and stress—and when we do this, we literally see nothing. Because past and future exists nowhere and all we have is the present moment.
Slowly, I realized Christ is already in every human being. We just fall asleep to it. We are born knowing, and the world teaches us to forget. Over the year the voice of Spirit became very clear, and guides every step of my path now. It doesn’t mean I always listen, but quickly I know because I feel contracted; I know to turn inward. That Jesus comes when I call to him, his presence is near, to point me in the most loving direction, but that ultimately I am to turn inward.
This is similar to what Buddha also taught. We search and search for answers outside ourselves when as soon as we go inside and get quiet, Spirit speaks. I have seen this when Christians get still and have seen the same thing when people that have no idea who Jesus is get still and their mind becomes quiet and they rest in their own breath.
Finally my life made sense. I had seen too much in different parts of the world to think the one way I grew up was the only way. I had seen and felt the presence of God with Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Catholics, inmates, alternative school kids and people from the slums. It wasn’t what religion they called themselves. It is who this person is— a child, or an extension, of God because they are walking on this Earth.
Many were way more awake to the presence of Unconditional Love than I was at the time. It made sense how Ghandi did what he did, how the Dalai Lama speaks for all the way he does, how Mother Teresa was so beautifully a presence of only love…or how some Christian missionaries do what they are doing. How I do what I’m doing and how you may do what you are doing. Different views. Same source. They all had awakened to Christ that is within all of us. Called by many names.
A Course in Miracles says this:
“Who are God’s teachers? A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure. A light has entered the darkness. It may be a single light, but that is enough. He has entered an agreement with God even if he does not yet believe in him. He has become a bringer of salvation. He has become a teacher of God.
They come from all over the world. They come from all religions and no religion. They are the ones who have answered. The Call is universal. It goes on all the time everywhere. It calls for teachers to speak of it and redeem the world. Many hear it, but few answer. Yet it is all a matter of time. Everyone will answer in the end, but the end can be a long long way off. It is because of this that the plan of the teacher was established. There is a course for every teacher of God. The form of the Course varies greatly. So do the particular teaching aids involved…”
So do I, a Southern girl living in the Bible Belt, believe the Bible is the only way? No, its one beautiful way…if it’s non-judgmental, which is rare. But the truth of God lies within us all. We have to look inside to find it.
“To those in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family.” ~ Buddha
“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” ~ Jesus
Author: Lauren Lewey
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Provided by Author