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I have talked to God for as long as I can remember.
As I was growing up in a Jewish home, it took the form of a standard prayer called The Shema, which is recited at bedtime.
I was told that when praying in synagogue, that was dialoguing with the Divine as well. The only problem was that back then, I don’t recall receiving a response. It would take a few decades before I felt there was any back and forth communing going on.
Throughout my life, I began receiving messages that told me (like the kid’s game “you’re getting warmer/colder”) that I was on the right track or had hit a roadblock and needed to take a detour. When I heeded them, I found myself in a better situation than I had anticipated and when I ignored them or pushed them away, I discovered that I had to sometimes retrace my steps and see where I had gone wrong.
They have led me in and out of relationships, into and out of jobs, taking the trip of a lifetime to Ireland, meeting my husband, enrolling in seminary, creating a business, adding to my marketable skills, and they’ve steered me clear of imminent danger and brought me safely through peril.
Each was a stepping stone “on the road to find out.” What I was discovering was that I had the ability to tap into Divine wisdom. I have never called myself psychic, but am highly intuitive, clairaudient, clairvoyant, and clairsentient. I hear things, see things, and know things before they occur, sometimes with pinpoint accuracy. I was going to say “frightening accuracy,” but I am not fearful. I shake my head in awe when my precognition comes to pass. I’m not sure if I created the reality with my thoughts or I saw ’em coming. I ask to use these gifts responsibly and for the Highest Good.
One example that tells me God has a sense of humor occurred, of all places, on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital where I had worked for a dozen years as a social worker. I was taking a break and walking around the beautiful property where tall trees shaded the summer grass.
I was bemoaning (in my mind) that things in my life weren’t going the way I thought they should. At that moment, a truck rumbled by on the adjacent road. As I looked up, I laughed because I got the cosmic joke. The inscription on the side read G.O.D. (Guaranteed Overnight Delivery).
Good thing I was secure in my truth that I wasn’t hallucinating, because when I returned to my unit and told some of my co-workers, no one took away my keys to the locked doors. Encounters like that have me wondering how many people who are hospitalized for “religious delusions,” “magical thinking,” or “ideas of reference,” are actually having spiritual experiences.
Last night, after waking at around 4 a.m. from a nightmare, I found it difficult to go back to sleep, so I knocked on the door of the Almighty and initiated what I refer to as a Godversation.
There are times when I view the God of my understanding in anthropomorphic form and sometimes as an energy, not an entity. The voice that speaks back to me is gender neutral.
I asked who was presenting them/itself to me. Here’s how the convo went:
“I am made in the image and likeness of your heart. I am whoever or whatever you need me to be in any given moment.”
I was always told it was the other way around, that humans were made in Your image and likeness.”
“Six of one, half a dozen of the other.”
“My father used to say that.”
“I know. Pretty good, huh? There is no difference. We are one and the same.”
“Why are there so many religions and beliefs about who you are and which version of you is the Truth?”
“How many flavors of ice cream are there? I know you find mint chocolate chip most delightful, but some prefer butter pecan. The only Truth, with a capital T, is that love is the most powerful force in the Universe. If what someone practices and adheres to is not loving, then it is not my message. No hellfire and brimstone. No one is outside my loving Grace. Even those you would find abhorrent. Even those who justify hate or restrict freedoms in my name. Even those who distort the teachings and attempt to keep people from reaching their full potential. Even people who discriminate or see others as ‘less than’ or sinful. Remember that the word sin means to miss the mark, like in archery. You can always get a do-over.”
“Why do people talk about being God-fearing as if you are an abusive parent that we need to obey, or else…?”
“I have no idea who thought that one up. I would much prefer that you be God-loving as an example of how to be with each other. I am infinitely approachable and as close as your next breath.”
“How come I feel distant from you at times and worry about things over which I have no control?”
“Spiritual amnesia by which you forget that everything is alright.”
“How do I regain my memory?”
“Ask yourself if I have ever dropped you. Have you not survived everything that has ever happened in your life? Remember when I sent you that larger than life message special delivery?”
“Sigh. You have never let me down. I’ve survived loss, death, health challenges, and major life changes, and am here to tell about it.”
“And you will continue to live and talk about what you have learned.”
“So, here’s a question about how I can wrap my mind around the horrific things people do to each other. Why don’t you stop it?”
“I gave people the paradoxical gift of freedom of choice. Humans hurt. Humans heal. The decision is up to each of you. I have also seen people come together in the face of crisis and tragedy. You all need to remember that you are never alone and that you need each other to survive and thrive. I created this world to be a Paradise. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?”
“How can we influence people to choose the latter?”
“Teach by your example. Hold to a higher standard. Do no harm. Consider how each decision you make impacts everyone in the world. Remember the butterfly effect by which the flapping of the wings of a butterfly in one part of the world can cause a tornado in another.”
“There are times when I feel like giving up. Sometimes the work feels like it is too much to deal with.”
“Who said you had to do it alone? There are so many who are on the team to repair the world and mend the rends that have always existed.”
“How do I keep from judging those who cause intentional havoc and spew hatred?”
“Maybe you can’t. Maybe the human mind is not capable of refraining from holding others in contempt. Sure, you’ve heard spiritual teachers say that you should forgive, that you should be non-biased. There is danger in taking that position. There are times when you need to take a stand. You can channel your anger into positive action. Oh, and forgiveness doesn’t mean that what someone did was acceptable, but you can put it into perspective. Do you want to carry the pain forever? You’ve heard that forgiveness is more for the one offering it. Lighten your load. Set yourself free.”
“How do I hold that polarity of sharing love and being critical of some choices that people make?”
“You understand what forces shaped them and appeal to the commonalities between you. You all have people you love. You all want to feel important and empowered. You all want to feel like you belong and like you matter. You might just be able to melt some hardened hearts and open some minds. I gave you the ability to do that.”
“Oh, and by the way, I know you are going to ask if I expect you to believe in me in order to be ‘saved;’ what matters most is that I believe in you.”
“Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”