A Story of Resurrection

by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff

Beverly and her mother, Tona, in the early 1990s

As we approach Easter, I want to share a story of my resurrection: My experience of life in what we call death.

February 19 of this year marked twenty-five years since my mother made her transition from this worldly experience to the next experience of life that is eternal. As I remembered her life and all that she imparted to me, there was no sadness. I feel her all around me, and I shed a few tears now and then, but they are really tears of joy for what she taught me and continues to teach me.

Our son, Jeffrey, never met my mom in person, but I think he has met her. I started showing him photos of her ever since he was old enough to understand and told him that Grandma Tona is an angel who watches out for him all the time, especially at night when he sleeps. As a little boy, particularly when I would least expect it, Jeffrey would say, “Grandma Tona angel is watching us.” I have passed it off as him just parroting my words, but I suspected he might know more than I thought.

A Course in Miracles tells us there is no death; the Son of God is free. I do believe what it says, and I do believe there is no end to life. But, like all of us, I get caught up in the day-to-day activities of life and find myself falling into old patterns of thinking that when someone dies, they are not around to help anymore.

Fortunately, I am starting to catch these old patterns so that they can be turned over to the Holy Spirit to be healed. I also experienced a miracle that has helped me, and I want to share it with you on this recurring occasion in my life.

A few years back, I had a dream where my mother and I sat in a restaurant talking. We used to do a lot of that, so it seemed pretty natural.

Amid our conversation, I realized that she was dead. I knew she was dead because her eyes looked dead. Now, frankly, I don’t know what dead eyes look like (just what I have seen in those vampire movies), but that is what my mind said. They were dead eyes. As I continued to listen to her, her eyes suddenly transformed into the beautiful eyes that were my mother’s trademark. I was so excited, and I said to her, “Mama, your eyes are alive … you are alive!”

She smiled at me and lovingly said, “I was always alive. You were the one who saw me as dead.”

That thought has stayed with me and continues to seep down into my mind and heart. The Course tells us there is no end to life, and so did my mom. Whether or not we see life, however, is really our choice. How often do we find ourselves caught in dead thoughts: thoughts of anger, fear, depression, attack, judgment, and separation? These are the thoughts that cut us off from our experience of God … the experience of our true life: A life that shows us our connection and continuation.

How arrogant of us to think that what God created as eternal can end! Just because we can’t see or understand how we could be connected beyond our bodies or how life can continue without a body does not mean it cannot be true. Our understanding is not necessary for God’s truth to prevail.

But if we want to feel God’s peace and joy in our lives, we must allow His healing truth into our hearts. How? Start by becoming aware of those “dead thoughts.” Become aware of the temptation to wander into thoughts of separation: anger, fear, attack, depression, etc.

When you are tempted to dwell in these emotions, remind yourself that these thoughts are not worthy of a Holy Child of God. Invite the Holy Spirit into your thoughts so that you might experience the life of God’s creation that you are entitled to, and not dwell in death and its crucifying thoughts.

We don’t have to create the presence of God in our lives; we only need to release the blocks to that presence. It was said that when Michelangelo was asked how he could carve a masterpiece out of a block of marble, he said that he simply chipped away everything that was not the masterpiece. The masterpiece God has created is within us now; we merely need to let the thoughts that are not worthy of God’s Holy Child have no more value to us…to simply drop away.

Certainly, this is a practice. We need to nurture the awareness of God in our minds, and that is where the workbook lessons for the Course are valuable. It gives us a daily practice. The Course is not the only way, but it is a way that provides a daily practice. If you find the Course to be your path, then you need to do it. It is time to take it off the shelf and commit to your life and your healing.

Join with me in not just celebrating the resurrection but in living the resurrection. Let your life reflect the resurrecting spirit of love and life. As we read in the Course:

“Each day, each hour and minute, even every second, you are deciding between the crucifixion and the resurrection; between the ego and the Holy Spirit. The ego is the choice of guilt; the Holy Spirit is the choice for guiltlessness. The power of decision is all that is ours. What you can decide between is fixed, because there are no alternatives except truth and illusion. And there is no overlap between them, because they are opposites which cannot be reconciled and cannot both be true. You are guilty or guiltless, bound or free, unhappy or happy.” (T-14.III.4)

Let us place our attention on the life we share with God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who will show us the guiltless, free, and joyous Child of God that we all are in truth. Allow thoughts of death to fall away and embrace the masterpiece that God has created.

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