Chapter Five – Miracles
The natural results that love brings when we allow fear to release and express love.
Were you told that miracles were something performed by one man 2000 years ago? When I had surgery for cancer, the first bed available was on a pediatric ward. A nice place to be. I had clowns visit and nurses who didn’t flinch when I clung to my poogie. The first night a nurse came by several times, shined a flashlight into my eyes and said, “You are still awake.” “Yes,” I replied. This repeated the second and third nights. On the fourth night a nurse shined a light in my eyes and said, “You are still awake.” “Yes,” I replied. “I’ll sit with you,” she said. She sat down quietly beside me, took my hand, and I fell asleep immediately. This was a miracle. A miracle is where love flows when only fear existed before and the results are what love brings. It is always something natural. If miracles aren’t taking place, something is wrong, something is lacking. Miracles provide that love which is lacking.
Miracles heal. In my late 20’s I was working as charge nurse by myself on a large ward. One evening I set up an IV and it was not working properly. Overwhelmed with things to do, I called the supervisor and asked for help. Asking for help was not part of my practice. I was anticipating being punished for my stupidity. Even I knew that something minor was wrong with the tubing, I just didn’t seem to be able to figure it out at the time. I shut off the IV and went on to care for other people. A few minutes later the supervisor came into the room where I was working and simply said, “I’ve fixed the problem, get on with your work.” She told me what the problem was, and it was indeed a mindless act on my part. Then she walked away.
Stunned, I said to myself, no criticism, no pink slip. She only helped me. This was such a new thought to me that I could make an error and receive no punishment, only help. It was a miracle. Love not only solved the problem without creating more, it allowed me to have an entirely new experience from any I had had before. To this day I wish I could tell this beautiful person how that simple act on her part changed my life experience from then on. I learned the power of being only helpful. Miracles undo the past in the present, and thus release the future. I now had an image in my mind of asking for help and receiving only help. I also realized that we can touch many people and produce undreamed of changes for them and not even be aware that we have touched them.
At age four, my son, being much like me, went to our neighbor’s garden and picked a row of flowers that the neighbor man thought he had hidden far enough behind some larger plants that little eyes would not find them. Not so! My neighbor told me about it kindly and I’m sure that I remembered my sweet pea garden. The next morning beside our back steps I found a large truck tire, painted bright red, full of sand and sandbox toys. “He needs a place to play,” my neighbor said. I delighted at this creative response to my four year old. It was a new idea, a creative response rather than a punishment. It allowed for expansion and growth. It was a miracle. Since miracles allow for expansion, the flow of love, we could call them feminine process. Perhaps the reason we see so few miracles is because we’ve denied the feminine, and not named the process properly.
Miracles bring love to the giver and the receiver. This elderly neighbor, diseased and anticipating his death, was enlivened by his own joyful act of preparing the play space for my son. And the play space became a joyful focus for my son.
Feeling the loneliness of a mate with Alzheimer’s for many years, my husband in a nursing home, I began praying for a companion. I looked everywhere for the possible man or woman who could be a friend to me. I visited my husband so regularly on Wednesday mornings that the nurses could have set their watches by my arrival. Then one summer day I decided to vary my ways and visit at breakfast and dinner time just to break the monotony of lunchtime.
On the first evening visit, there sat a very handsome man across the table from me. He was assisting his wife’s eating as I was feeding my husband. “How often do you come?” he asked. “Once a week,” I said. I found out that he had been coming every day before dinner so regularly that the nurses could have set their watches by his arrival also. It turned out that his wife had forked a man who was reaching for her food in the formal dining room and that was what sent her to the table where I was sitting with my husband in the assisted dining room. “Have you ever square danced?” I asked. He politely accepted the card that I handed him as I told him that the club where I danced was going to start lessons for new students soon. He, who later told me he had never been on a dance floor in his 78 years, hesitated about as long as he could, and then decided to accept my offer to learn to square dance. It took several long letters with information to relieve his fears enough that he would even risk the humiliation he anticipated. I wish you could see the joy on his face when he twirls me around on the dance floor. What brings the joy is not what matters. The willingness to replace fear and avoidance with love and expansion brings miraculous results. Everything that comes from love is a miracle.
Miracles do not come from our attempt to make them happen. They come naturally from allowing ourselves to Be loving. The flow of love allows for growth and expansion. Miracles mean life. Have you ever felt like you haven’t really lived? Did you ever think that it would take a miracle for you to feel happy? You were most likely correct. What you didn’t realize was that you were living life based on adaptation, based on fear. And the flow of life that is the miracle was lacking.
Prayer, the kind that allows us to shift to a higher or broader level of thinking, also allows the flow of love which brings miraculous results. Miraculous results are what we truly want, we just don’t understand how to allow them. It is the missing feminine side of God. To bring the feminine into balance with the masculine means that we need to re-examine everything in our lives; what we’ve learned, and how we’ve practiced what we’ve learned. Everything loving, or everything that comes from a balanced state, is simple compared to anything we do through the resistance of fear.
I am not one to live with regrets. I do have two regrets from my life, however. I was on a commercial plane one day sitting in the center seat. I received an inner message that said that the man three rows up on the other side of the aisle, sitting in the center seat, was a holy man. Just then he stood up, looked me in the eye, and sat back down. It was eerie. I asked myself if he had received the message that I was a holy woman. When I exited the plane he was standing outside the door clearly waiting for me. I was too frightened to stop and say, “Who are you?” I looked at him and walked on by. To this day, I wonder what love might have done here and what miracle might have come from that.
For the years that I led a spiritual community, I took my group to a nearby retreat house for a three day weekend annually. We were known as the singing group because we sang for fifteen minutes before each meal. On this last day of one of these retreats, and last meal, standing in a large circle with my fellow group members, singing gloriously, a figure approached me saying, “Thank you for calling this gathering.” I said, “Oh, thank you.” Then I went to fear realizing I had just spoken out loud to someone that I assumed only I had seen. I remembered my uncle from my childhood who had schizophrenia and often spoke to people I didn’t see. It was a frightening experience. And then the regret set in. I realized that this was a most miraculous appearance and I was too afraid to ask, “Who are you?” This is the other regret of my life. Miracles are something we receive and that requires the feminine function of opening to the new. Miracles bring life to the soul.
Somewhere around the age of 50, I was at choir practice with my flute having been invited to accompany a vocal piece. We were listening to an audio tape of the song we were planning to use. I stood sort of glassy eyed, staring at one of the men as I listened carefully to the melody line and words to Let Me Remember by Oman & Shanti. “Into His presence, would I enter now, for I am surrounded by the love of God .… let me remember I am one with God.” Suddenly I felt a powerful gush from my heart. I felt like my heart had broken open. I looked down anticipating a gush of blood coming from my body. I saw nothing. The incident so surprised me and I had no way to understand it. Did it mean I was falling in love with the man I was staring at, I asked myself. The incident became my secret for at least six months until I revealed it. The miracle opens our heart, undoes our own defenses that led us to close our heart in the first place. Only then can we feel joy and the freedom that can only come from a heart free to express compassion where competition once resided.
And here is one that I do not understand, which is how we usually define a miracle. I was driving home on a night when the roads were very icy. I had considered my route carefully, avoiding isolated country roads. I chose a well travelled four lane highway with a median between which was about as wide as a car. I believed it would be my safest and surest way home. I had to go down a long hill to a river bed and then up the other side. About half way up the other side, my car spun completely out of control. It was headed sideways, straight for three cars on the other side of the median. I braced myself for impact.
Meanwhile, my car went onto the median and just feet from hitting another car, suddenly seemed to turn up the median and then incomprehensibly seemed to lift up and be placed right back where I had been in the first place, in the outer lane headed up hill. Shaking with fright by now, I continued home. The next day I went back to see the tracks my car had made. The tracks only went across the median. There was no indication that the car had gone up the median, or returned to its place of origin. This, too, is a miracle. I’ve had enough incidents in my life to know that there are holy forces beyond our comprehension that act with us and for us in ways that are helpful. I assume that this is the same energy that magnetically calls us to wake up and be holy and likewise helpful. All miracles are expressions of love. Perhaps it is in loving the Holy that we most feel loved by the Holy.