In my forthcoming novel, Messenger, Messenger, a mysterious old woman, delivers life-changing messages to seemingly random people all over New York City. Messenger tells Alana, an ambitious young journalist who seeks to write Messenger’s story, “Oh, honey, you don’t think I’m the only Messenger? . . . the real story is: We’re all messengers for each other. Everybody on this earth. Everybody can be a messenger for someone else.”
But can this actually happen? As part of my podcast, Messenger: A Novel in 16 Episodes, we asked listeners to send us their own real-life messages. In many stories, another person delivered the message. In some, the message came from within.
Marie struggled with an overwhelming problem, phoning Therese, a trusted friend, for help. Therese’s advice? One simple word, “Trust.” A week later, another friend gave Marie a hand-made ceramic star. TRUST was carved in the center.
M sat in a new class, spell-bound by the teacher’s first statement, “There is an artist within each of us. I will help you find that creative spirit within.” A new interest in photography emerged for M, changing her life.
Ellen, sick with worry over her baby daughter’s impending heart surgery, encountered a strange little boy on the playground who told her, “I have a hole in my heart, but I can do everything other kids do. Sometimes I get tired, but I can still play.” This message from a stranger reassured Ellen that her own daughter could live a happy, normal life.
In the novel, Messenger writes in her composition book, which she keeps at Alana’s request, Used to be, I wasn’t necessary—way back when. People used to listen and could hear for themselves. No more. Messenger explains that today’s pace of life and especially our electronics distract and disconnect us from messages coming our way.
While investigating Messenger, Alana finds her own inner voice, which tells her exactly what to do or what’s about to happen, abilities that develop as Alana notices and acts on them. Sometimes Alana listens, and things turn out well. When she doesn’t, disaster strikes.
Our podcast listeners also reported they’d been messengers for themselves. An inner voice, a nudge, or even a dream directed them. Bill followed an urge one day to leave his law firm and go to the movies, something he’d never done. The movie he saw directly led him to the next step on his spiritual quest.
Caroline noticed a saying on a church marquee which struck a chord of insight and helped disrupt her old pattern of self-deprecating thoughts.
Joe Ellen’s dreams of dying babies revealed a truth she’d missed in her waking life—she took wonderful care of others but neglected to care for and value herself.
What connects these stories? First, each person was awake and listening. If you pay attention to your own life and the people who may enter it, no matter how unlikely, you may receive a crucial tidbit of information to move your life forward.
When our listeners received their message, from another person or internally, they paused and considered it. And then they shared their message.
It’s wonderful to receive messages but what if you also want to be a messenger? Simply follow the same guidelines: wake up and listen, pause and consider the message to give, don’t be afraid to share it. A way to start? Take a tip from my dear friend’s new year’s resolution: seek to give every person you meet a blessing.
A blessing is a message, especially when you follow an inner nudge to give it. How many times have you had a positive thought about someone—friend or stranger? Your hair looks so nice today, or You are the most positive person I know. Did you tell them? You never know how even a small or simple message might just be life-changing.
How about yourself? Do you bless yourself when you successfully handle a difficult situation? Or do you follow an inner warning or nudge to take some action? Our inner messenger system can serve to help and protect us.
Who knows? If you live your life giving and receiving messages, you might sense into the deep and mysterious web of connection mystics and scientists tell us exists at every level, joining everyone and everything.
As Messenger says in the novel, we are all messengers for others—ourselves included. Wake up. Look. Listen. Live each day in the present moment. Expect that the message you need most will come.
Liz Keller Whitehurst’s novel, Messenger, will be published October 19. Visit lizkellerwhitehurst.com to preorder and listen to the podcast. Liz writes: “If you’ve already received a message from yourself or someone else and would like to share it, please visit my contact page and leave me a message. Listen to two bonus episodes of real-life messages from Marie, M, Ellen, Bill, Caroline, Jo Ellen, and others.”