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The moment of recognizing that Divine Spirit has just worked in, through or around oneself can be life-changing. One may give care, trust in something good or face peril with courage and faith.
A friend of mine, Donna, shared with me recently an experience of hers long ago in which I'd been a bit player. During a discussion of spiritual issues, I'd suggested that the contents of her mind were a blueprint that Divine Spirit reads to determine what to send to us, that our prayer and faith are based on Spirit sending us what we expect from It.
Later that day while visiting a local shop she heard a woman exclaim about her happiness at obtaining a pure white cat.
Donna told me ``I just spoke to the Source - I never know what to call It - I said `I would love a white cat!'''
Returning home that day, she pulled into the parking space near her condo and was greeted by a pure white long-haired cat. Stunned, she spoke to the cat and it meowed back at her. Then, she said, ``The cat led me to the door of my condo, turned over on its back on my doormat and let me scratch its stomach.'' The cat adopted Donna, coming and going as it pleased, and Donna realized that a higher power had responded to her in a way unmistakably beautiful.
Another Juneau woman's open heart was engaged a couple months ago as she looked out her kitchen window to see a cat pounce on a bird in her driveway. She ran out, beat on the cat until it let go of the bird, and then turned to the trembling bird and found it alive. She cradled it in her hands and immediately took it in her car to a veterinarian, holding it in her lap, the bird's eyes meeting hers.
The vet examined and tested it, concluded that it was beyond help, and offered to put the bird to sleep, saying ``It's just a sparrow.''
``Just a sparrow!'' the woman exclaimed, indignant at the dismissing of the bird so casually. Refusing, she returned to her car, the bird still in her lap, and drove to a store to purchase some bird seed. Then as she held the bird gently in her hands, she and the bird gazing at each other, the bird shook again and was gone. She cried, feeling extremely upset. It was a life. If only she'd looked out the window sooner; if only she'd gotten the bird out of the cat's mouth a second sooner.
As she approached her home, however, she noticed something on her driveway. On the very spot she'd rescued the bird lay a fresh-cut orchid. A tremendous feeling of peace came over her that seemed like the warm hand of God on her heart, she said. It told her that the bird had already been reborn and that this was a thank-you from the bird for making its last few hours easier.
Sometimes Spirit reaches back when our heart especially needs an opening. A Juneau woman who'd moved south several years ago after her husband died returned last year and told this story: She'd had an operation but the healing required that the wound remain open, and its packing and dressing be changed daily.
This grew so painful for her that she didn't think she could stand it any longer, and the day she decided that a new nurse came in. She said to the nurse ``Don't do this any more. Just let me go.'' The nurse asked her if there was a song she especially liked, and when she said ``Amazing Grace,'' the song began to play from some source in the room while the nurse went about changing the packing. She noticed that the song became unusually beautiful, different than she'd ever heard it and that she had no pain during the work on her wound.
``I haven't seen you here before,'' she said to the nurse.
``Oh, I'm a sort of head nurse here and I just come in from time to time,'' the woman replied.
From that time on, however, whenever she had the wound's packing and dressing changed, the Juneau woman experienced no further pain. She asked people later about this ``head nurse,'' but no one had ever heard of her.
Spirit and the open heart talk the same language.
John Jensen is a member of the clergy of ECKANKAR, the religion of the Light and Sound of God.