by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff
“The Holy Spirit guides you into life eternal, but you must relinquish your investment in death, or you will not see life though it is all around you.” (T-12.IV.7)
A Course in Miracles offers us such a simple, healing approach to life, but the problem is we are often unwilling to lift our vision from the way it has always been to embrace a new experience, a new way. But in those moments, when we do allow the Holy Spirit into our sorrow and problems, we are given a vision of renewal and life that is always around us.
Some years back, after my aunt had been in hospice care for a few weeks, she made her transition into eternal life. It was a beautiful and peaceful death. My cousin (her daughter) was with her, and even though she celebrated her mom’s release, it was difficult. It’s always hard for those who are left behind. It’s not that we don’t want our loved ones freed from the encumbrance of the body that no longer serves them; it’s that we will miss them. On the one hand, we understand that life is eternal, that spirit never dies, but it’s hard to hug a thought. Or is it?
The Sunday after my aunt entered hospice care, my cousin went to my aunt’s church. She didn’t know anyone in the church, since she lived in a different city, so she sat there all alone. At the end of the service, she glanced down to her side and there on the pew was her mother’s purse. It had to be her mom’s purse, she thought, since she had just helped her mom change from her winter purse to her white spring purse that she had been carrying for the past fifteen years. Her mom was from the “old-school” where you can’t wear white until after Memorial Day. Who else would have the same white, fifteen-year-old purse?
The purse, although identical, belonged to the lady sitting next to her. But the moment she saw that purse, my cousin felt as if her mom was with her. As she told the story to the lady, the two of them sobbed and hugged. They were joined in that moment by a life that was not there in form but was certainly there in content.
I have heard it said that when situations like this happen, it’s a “wink from God.” In these moments or “winks” we are reminded that there is no separation or lack. The abundance of God is all around, and we only need to be aware of it. So, if God can wink, maybe a hug is not such an outrageous idea either.