A Course in Miracles invites us to “make this year different by making it all the same.” It asks us to let all our relationships be made holy for us. This is its advice on how to make the year different from all our others: to consistently allow the Holy Spirit to heal our relationships for us.
You may think: “What are you talking about? All my relationships are just fine.” But let’s remember…
Each year when my brother and I were growing up, my mom would hang our stockings on the mantle. She had a stocking made for each of us with our names sewn on in a fancy stitch. They were made a very long time ago, when this type of specialty work was very precious and not found in every store or mail order magazine as it is today. Those stockings always represented to me my parents’ love for us. Even though they did not have a lot in the way of finances when we were young, they always made sure we never felt lacking. We didn’t have a lot of things, but we thought we did, and it was our parents’ love that made the ordinary seem extraordinary….
“Always look for the helpers.” I remember hearing this when the documentary about the life of children’s television innovator, Mr. Rogers, was released in 2018. Entitled Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the film highlighted the incredible career of a man whose goal was to heal a hurting world by making each child feel whole, valued, and complete right now. He would often say, “I like you just the way you are.” His message was that you don’t need to wait for some future time or when you get older to be okay. You are okay right now. And when times are tough, or things are scary, focusing on those who are helping others or being helpful to another helps you. As the prayer in A Course in Miracles says…
The four weeks before Christmas are typically known as Advent. It is considered a time of preparation for the birth of Christ. Therefore, let us prepare for the birth of Christ by preparing our own inner garden. Today let us begin by noticing the weeds of fear that are choking the seeds of healing in our lives and make a conscious choice to bring them to the light of true healing, to the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to simply look on them. We don’t have to worry about how or when He will heal them. We have faith that if we bring them to Him, He will do the job immediately…
My mother and grandmother left me their old Betty Crocker cookbook with a number of favorite recipes dog-eared and marked as particularly delicious. They even included a few handwritten cards with special recipes that had been given to them that were surefire winners. Now, I must be honest with you, I am really not a cook. While I do like cooking, many of these wonderful recipes require flour sifters, double boiler pots, and all sorts of gadgets and gizmos that were easily found in their kitchens, but not mine. But, I can still appreciate their willingness to pass them onto me, and I do treasure them. Like a wonderful recipe, however, it means nothing if you never make it.
Well, I want to share a recipe with you that is guaranteed to not only make your Thanksgiving delicious this year, but perhaps even transform your life…
Do you remember swinging on a swing? And the fun of going higher and higher as you tucked your legs under on every backward swing, then thrusting them out on the forward swing?
When our son was little, I recall that swinging was a learned skill. When we first put him in those bucket swings, he squealed with delight as we pushed him. Then he graduated to the big kids swing, where he learned the coordination skills to make the swing work on his own. It was exciting to watch him learn that each backward swing was not a retreat but a momentary opportunity to pump forward, even higher. He always enjoyed every part of his journey on the swing.
I think of swinging as a good metaphor for life…
At the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, there is a tree near the fountains named the Survivor Tree. This tree is aptly named as it survived the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. In October of that year, a pear tree was found severely damaged. Its branches were burned and broken, and its roots were snapped; it was removed from the rubble and nurtured back to health by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. In 2010, after its recovery, the tree was brought back to its original home at Ground Zero. If you look closely at the tree, you can see…
Remember the days of car radios when you had to dial in the station? Depending on what might be blocking your signal, whether it be location, atmospheric conditions, or how you were holding your mouth, you might get good reception or a lot of static. Well, I had one of those cars. I remember once, when I was driving with my husband Paul, and I tuned into a station with a lot of static. Now, Paul is a musician with almost perfect pitch, so he does not like static; he wants to hear the clear beauty of the sound. I, on the other hand, was not as refined because I liked the station. He asked me how I could listen to a station with all that static. Since the station was a favorite and it never came in very well, I just tolerated it. I had gotten so used to the static; I didn’t even notice it anymore.
It hit me that this story is really a metaphor for life…
I recently received this email, and it got me thinking. It said… “I was just reading The Holy Encounter where you mentioned about essential workers and thought, ‘What else could be more essential or more needed than miracles right now? Could now be the time for a required course like A Course in Miracles?’ So, I am sending peace to you most essential workers on the front lines of healing!”
They are right, what could be more essential right now, with all that is going on in the world, than a miracle, and what simpler and more direct path to miracles than A Course in Miracles itself? So…
Yesterday morning, I received a call from Tam Morgan who let me know that her mother, Judith Skutch Whitson, had made her transition into eternal life a few hours earlier. There is no doubt that A Course in Miracles is in your hands (and countless millions around the world) because of the guidance, insight, and divine willingness of this beloved child of God. Her readiness to accept the mission from co-scribes Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford to take the Course to its publication was a mighty leap of faith. With grace and tenacity, she led the Foundation for Inner Peace (original publishers of the Course) to bring this healing tome to the world. It is not hyperbolic to say that we would not have the Course today without her guiding and guided hand.
I am deeply honored to have walked this world with her since 1977, and I will continue to be inspired by her love and wisdom. In September, Judy recorded a video for me for our on-demand seminar this Saturday. In that video she was, as she always was, brilliant, beautiful, and insightful. She truly left this world of limits on a high note!
In my last phone call with Judy, we reminisced about our 44-year history together. We were grateful to have been brought together through our love of the Course and our love for each other. I know she has experienced her homecoming with her husband, Whit, all her dear ones who have passed on, and her Heavenly Father. Thank you, Judy. I am so grateful to you, my dear sister.
And gratitude to God becomes the way in which He is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. God enters easily, for these are the true conditions for your homecoming. (M-23.4)