Share a Miracle
This column shares the everyday “miracles” or, as A Course in Miracles says, the “shifts in our perception” that are constantly taking place in our lives to remind us of our unity and love. We invite readers to share their “miracles” with us.
Seeing Through God’s Eyes
In 1948 very few doctors knew what Osteogenesis Imperfecta
was (today commonly known as “brittle bones”), let alone know what to do
for a baby who was born with it. In November of that year I arrived “on
the scene.” My mother embraced her new sick little girl with love. However,
my father did not welcome me with the same enthusiasm ……. sick kid,
doctor’s bills, and less attention from wife! (I was the first born).
So to cut to the chase……..I grew up feeling rejected
by my father, and our relationship was virtually nonexistent. After several
years in psychotherapy with wonderful therapists I finally came to the
acceptance that “I was okay. It wasn’t my fault that daddy didn’t love
me. He simply was unable to handle having a child like me.” For years I
was comfortable with that acceptance, but deep inside there was still a
sadness and disappointment that my Dad never was the father I wanted.
This year on April 18th, Dad made his transition. That
morning after hearing about his death a beautiful thought entered my mind.
“Now Dad sees me with different eyes. God’s eyes. Now he can see who I
really am. He is no longer blocked by seeing only my body (the disability).
He loves me now! He can see what a beautiful daughter I am and he can be
proud of me!” At last, I experienced my Dad’s love and acceptance. This
thought was very comforting to me. To me it meant that complete forgiveness
between us had taken place. I share my story in hopes that it will remind
us that with God there are no regrets and forgiveness is never too late!
“Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity
to heal.” (T371/398)
Years ago, when I was selling software, the president
of our company insisted that all the salespeople read The Art of War,
a classic book of military strategy written over 2000 years ago by a famous
Chinese general. We were commanded to read this book and consider ourselves
“at war” with our competition, utilizing the strategies of the cunning
general, to achieve victory against our enemies on the battlefields of
our future customers.
The competitive nature of the job was a given. But, declaring
ourselves “at war” seemed profoundly at odds with my own burgeoning spirituality.
I had dabbled in A Course in Miracles off and on for years, but recently
I had really committed myself to the Course, reading the lessons every
day and meeting regularly with a study group. My goal was peace, not war.
Unfortunately, my boss was not studying the Course.
Our company sold computer systems to colleges and universities,
notorious for big committees, convoluted politics and long, long sales
cycles. However, one of my prospects was breaking all records.
I had been working with one small community college for
years. We’d done several demonstrations, answered hundreds of questions,
taken them to corporate headquarters and client sites, and still they could
not make up their mind. My boss was growing anxious about all the time
and resources we’d wasted, and was pressuring me to get the sale. I didn’t
see how I could do any more and I was just about to give up on them when
I decided to put the situation into God’s hands.
“I am here only to be truly helpful. I am here to represent
Him Who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do,
because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes,
knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to
So, I prayed, “Dear God, please help me to be more understanding,
more compassionate towards these people. Help me to guide them to the correct
decision, whatever that may be.” Words of love and peace, not of war and
I instantly felt release of all the stress I had about
the situation. I felt warmth and love — instead
of exasperation — towards the people at the college!
“When you accepted truth as the goal for your relationship,
you became a giver of peace.” (T346/371)
I suddenly saw things from their point of view; this was
a decision that would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. I could
make the sale and move onto the next deal, but they would have to live
with their decision for years, and the success of their organization depended
I knew it was my job to help them get all the information
necessary to make them feel comfortable with their decision. I recommitted
myself to diligently answering every single question, not in a manipulative,
or angry, resentful way, but in a truly loving, concerned manner.
That was a turning point. There was a huge, discernible
shift in our relationship. I’m sure they could feel the difference in my
attitude towards them — love replacing my fear and impatience.
Soon afterward, they decided to purchase our system and
the college became one of my most loyal customers and a wonderful reference.
My decision to surrender the situation to God, and to
love and serve these people instead of merely “sell” them has been a lesson
which I will always remember.
It was a beautiful spring morning, the kind of morning
that makes you want to clean everything … as if you clean hard enough
and long enough, you will be able to infuse into all the things around
you that fresh spring feeling. Folding bath towels, shaking each
one out with a crisp snap first to announce to the world my bustling efficiency,
I watched as the breeze moved the curtains gently to and fro. I filled
my lungs with a deep, deep breath of the fresh spring air. Drifting
in through the open windows, I heard the sound of a commotion coming from
the children playing down the street…
“I hate you!” I heard clearly above the other noise.
“Well! Someone’s having a bad day.” I remarked smugly
to my husband.
It came again.“I HATE you.”
“That child,” I said, from the far heights of my superiority,
“is out of control.
Someone needs to do something about him. Where are his
And then it came…
Ian? That was my youngest son’s name … And in that moment,
with a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach, I realized that the out-of-control
screamer was his older brother.
I ran down the stairs and out the front door and
called to the boys to come home … now. I winced as they barrled down
the street, trying to outrun each other. I cried out for them to slow down,
certain that one would trip and skin his knees. They arrived; both crying
and attempting to out shout the other with his version of what had occurred.
I caught only fragments. “He orders me around.” “He’s SO mean.” “He
won’t listen to me.” I was taken aback to discover that the trouble seemed
to revolve around taking turns on a neighbor boy’s new scooter.
A scooter? I thought. We reached hate over a scooter?
I don’t always think of the Course when dealing with my
children — I wish I did. But on this spring day, maybe the fresh air had
cleared out my cluttered mind, or maybe my morning reading still lingered
in my mind, or maybe the Holy Spirit just plain old interceded -– whatever
the reason, I did think of the Course. I wanted to collect my thoughts,
and the boys needed to settle down, so, forbidding them to speak to each
other, I sent them to their room and told them to wait on their beds until
I arrived to discuss matters.
I searched my mind. There was ego here, in the boys’ dispute,
to be certain. I decided the key was to find out why, help the boys see
the error and then ‘choose again.
I climbed the stairs reluctantly, praying for the Holy
Spirit’s assistance. Fifteen minutes had passed, and the boys, crying spent,
were lying quietly on their beds. It made sense to me to start with
the out of control screamer. My older son’s only complaint, he insisted,
was simply that his younger brother ‘wouldn’t listen to him’ when he was
organizing turns on the scooter.
“But, son,” I said gently, “you reached ‘hate.’I heard
you. Screaming it. This has to be more than a little brother who doesn’t
want to wait his turn. Go deeper.”
“I am so good to him, mom!” he burst out. “All the time!
And then when we get with John, he won’t listen to me. He treats me like
dirt. He even acts like he likes John better.”
Glancing at my younger son to be sure he was listening
(and he was…intently), I asked my older son, “And how does that make
“Bad!” he cried, almost near tears again. “It makes me
feel like he doesn’t love me”
The Holy Spirit was with me, and I understood fully. My
older son had felt unloved by/attacked by my younger son. So he attacked
back, with vengence. Now, how to get the boys to see this…
As I looked into my younger son’s huge dark eyes, I discovered
that the Holy Spirit was one step ahead of me. There was light in his eyes.
I could see that he was marveling at what he had heard. For, you see, my
younger son actually does love his older brother…more than anyone or
anything in all the world. As I watched the light in his eyes shimmer,
I knew he was rejoicing … rejoicing to know that his brother cared —
a lot – whether he loved him or not. So fully did the Holy Spirit touch
him, that there was little left for me to do.
“Mom,” he offered, “That’s exactly how I feel! Sometimes,
when Cory bosses me around, I kinda feel like he doesn’t love me. And I
guess that’s why I acted the way I did.”
This easy? I asked the Holy Spirit. We’re done? I swallowed
the lump in my throat and struggled to maintain my ‘mother’s calm certainty.’
“Look at you two!”I lovingly scolded. “Loving each other
so much! This is ego, boys, pure and simple. You felt attacked, unloved
and so you attacked back. But look! Ian, Cory loves you so much that he
practically went crazy when he thought you didn’t love him! And, Cory,
your little brother worries too — worries that you might not love him.”
“Your love is a great gift from God, boys. You’re bothers.
Ego wants to take this kind of love away from you, and make you attack
each other instead. Don’t let it, boys! You look ego right in the eye and
send it packing. Cory loves Ian and Ian loves Cory. End of story.”
I could actually feel relief flood the room. At
my quiet suggestion, the boys apologized to each other, and told the other
that he loved him.
Listening carefully, I could almost hear ego’s furious
howls as it left my boys, left my house … and spring returned.
Hung in the Crucifixion
In A Course in Miracles, the crucifixion is used
as a metaphor for all those complicated unwieldy situations created by
the ego. Probably my personal favorite is “I’m fat. I need to lose weight.”
It is absolutely fraught with ammunition for the ego. So many ways to create
guilt so little time.
And just in case I get tired of judging myself there is
always my brother. When I’m wearing my judgment colored glasses there is
something wrong wherever I look.
It’s like one of those days when nothing seems right.
I call this mood you-scrambled-the-wrong-egg. This is from the story about
the grumpy man who told his wife he wanted two eggs for breakfast — one
fried and one scrambled. When she served them, he protested, “You scrambled
the wrong egg!”
Come on, Ego. Let’s have a good laugh together. Me, perfect!
Now there’s an idea we both can laugh at. This perfect spirit God created
making dopey mistakes. Now that’s funny!
Can you picture Jesus worrying about losing weight, “Should
I count calories or try Atkins.” Ah Ego, I knew I could get you to smile.
How about this — A Course in Miracles according to Mad Maxine.
When I take myself too seriously, I’m hung in the crucifixion.
So help me down from this cross. I’m sick and tired of being cross and
crossed. I want to move on to the resurrection, on to peace.
This reminds me of the story about the Sunday school teacher
who was discussing Easter Sunday. She talked about the stone having been
rolled back from the tomb. One little boy asked, “What did Jesus say when
he came out?” The teacher explained that the Bible doesn’t tell us. But
one little girl was waving her hand insistently, “I know. I know.” So the
teacher said, “All right, what did He say?” Dramatically the little girl
threw her arms wide and exclaimed, “Ta Da!”
Isn’t that priceless! It sort of sums it all up. Just
step into each new day with “Ta Da!” Here I come world ready or not —
blessed to start each new day with love in my heart and humor as my companion.
“And laughter will replace your sighs because God’s Son
remembered he is God’s Son.” (T570)
Dear Beverly and Study Group,
I want to share a shift in perception I had recently while
we were in Tahoe. I was lying in bed looking at the lake and meditating
when I heard a thumping noise. At first I thought it was thunder, then
I realized it was the bass to someone’s music. When I thought it was thunder,
it did not disturb my peace. But I cringed with negative judgment when
I realized it was someone playing music too loudly. I have always thought
I was “sensitive” to noise, but I recognized that it was not the noise
that disturbed my peace. It was my judgment about the source of the noise.
Those darn kids were invading my space — attacking me with their noise.
I decided to think of it as my brother sharing something
he is enjoying. A friend suggested a better image. She said she thought
it was like a rooster crowing. Now when I hear young people “sharing their
music,” I just think of that old rooster crowing. They are both just saying,
“Here, I am. Notice me!” Now I just chuckle and say to myself, “Bless you,
The Only Miracle
On Saturday, July 10, 2004 my wife woke me at 6:30 in
the morning. “It’s time,” she said. “Kathryn just called. Your mom is going.”
I jumped up, got dressed in the clothes I had dropped the night before
at my bedside, and quickly brushed my hair. Out in the living room, my
wife was scrambling to get ready as my younger sister rushed through an
abbreviated morning routine. Three minutes later we walked out the door,
got into my car, and drove silently, carefully to meet my older sister,
Kathryn, at the hospice my mom was at.
My mother had been struggling with a devastating case
of rheumatoid arthritis for over twenty years, complicated by miscellaneous
illnesses that stemmed from the disease and the medications used to treat
it. By the end of her life, she had been fully bedridden for two years,
barely able to lift a water bottle high enough for her to drink through
a plus-sized straw. So as we drove to say a final goodbye to her, none
of us were really surprised that she was dying. We had expected it.
In fact, I had been doubly prepared. Four weeks previously,
my mother had visited me in my home and she appeared to be doing fine.
The night after her visit, however, I had a disturbing dream in which she
had “died unexpectedly in her sleep.” I had never had such a dream about
her before, and the next morning I thought little of it until later that
day when my mom was suddenly rushed to the emergency room with a kidney
infection. To top it off, at some point—by pure chance—I opened my copy
of A Course in Miracles to the section titled, “What is Death?”
Needless to say, I was pretty well convinced that my mom
was in the active process of leaving her body long before she actually
When we arrived at the hospice, my mom lay unconscious,
breathing shallowly. We gathered some chairs and flanked her bed, my wife
and I on one side, my sisters on the other. Two hours passed during which
we spoke to her. We told her how much we loved her, and that if she felt
she needed to leave, we would all be okay. We smoothed down her hair, touched
her face, held her hand. We told stories of shared, family experiences,
and talked about my mother’s generous spirit, her loving heart, and unbending
I said a silent prayer for peace, and I thought of Christ
and meditated on his presence joined together with all of us, sensing our
Over the years, many people had prayed for a “miracle”
for my mom. They prayed that she would get better, that someone would come
up with a cure for her disease, that she would grow strong again, be able
to walk again, and—during this final illness—that she wouldn’t die. But
none of that happened.
As my wife, my two sisters, and I watched, my mother’s
breathing slowed and eventually stopped. She had been asleep and peaceful
throughout the process, just as she had been in my dream.
My sisters cried, and my wife looked on in disbelief.
I watched as if it were a dream. My older sister unsuccessfully tried to
shut my mom’s mouth, which was awkwardly locked open. Everyone was touching
my mom and crying over her and speaking to her.
It was during this intense confusion that I noticed something
very peculiar, however. I sat back and grew completely quiet; and the miracle—the
only miracle there is—hit me flat out: my mom had not died. I mean, it
was obvious that she was no longer connected with the body before me. But
try as I might I simply could not shake the feeling that, as we sat there
weeping over her dead body, my mom too was there, watching on, with all
of her commanding motherly love showering down upon our wounds.
I still have not lost that feeling, and I don’t believe
that I ever will. Every person who knew my mom has commented that, like
me, they still feel her presence, and no one can seem to process her death.
Some people may label this as denial, and encourage us to accept that she
is dead and gone from our lives. But I do not believe that this is true.
I am more inclined to accept her presence as real, and believe my heart
before my eyes.
The miracle does not necessarily seek to heal sick bodies
or protect us from physical death, though these may be side effects of
it. The only real miracle, I realized, is the awakening to the fact that
we are all connected, and that, despite any conflicting witnesses, we all
live on forever—not in my personal memory, or yours, but in God’s, together.
So my relationship with my mom has indeed changed; but it certainly is
A Lesson In Gratitude
A few days ago, I went to my bank to use the Automatic
Teller Machine. As I approached, a man had just finished his transaction
and was walking away. I went up to the machine and attempted to insert
my card, but it would not enter. I looked at the screen and the message
on the screen said “PLEASE TAKE YOUR MONEY.” I looked down and there was
a stack of $20.00 bills in the money slot. I quickly looked back and saw
that the man who had preceded me was driving away. I yelled and waved my
arms, but to no avail. The man was driving away with his windows rolled
up and air conditioning blowing. Another approaching car saw me waving
my arms and yelling and blew his horn at the man and somewhat blocked the
exit drive so that the man finally had to look back at me.
As I approached his car, he lowered his window. I looked
at his scowling face and said, “You left your money in the machine.”
Without a word, he got out of his car, walked up to the
machine, grabbed the money, got back into the car and drove away. My ego
rushed to judgment. “The *$!?*! didn’t even say thank you!”
Immediately a line from the Text of A Course in Miracles
that our study group had covered just a few days before popped into mind.
“The unhealed healer wants gratitude from his brothers…” (T121). I thought,
“The ego wants me to be special – to be separate; the Holy Spirit wants
me to appreciate the gift through me to my brother.” Then I felt the gratitude
for the lesson and for the realization that the teachings from the Course
were working in my life. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
A Miracle in the Hurricanes
Sharon Sutter who lives in Florida in regard to her incredible shift in
perception as a result of the devastating hurricane experience in that
part of the nation. Sharon is a listener to the Center’s recorded meetings
on the Course and I was so taken by her tremendous strength, growth and
willingness to extend to others in the face of her own challenges. What
a teacher she and the other two ladies are who study the Course together!
I am honored to walk this path with them and I think you will be too!
I am a student of A Course in Miracles and I am also
a listener to Miracle Distribution Center’s recording meetings on the Course.
I have a miracle I want to share with all of you. I live on the Gulf Coast
of Florida and have just survived four hurricanes in six weeks! Our little
waterfront community of Hernando Beach was spared any major damage to our
homes, but a lot of emotional damage was done. The fear and anxiety generated
by the onslaught of so many major storms in such a short time has frayed
the nerves and patience of many in the “Sunshine State”. There are so many
who fared much worse and have lost their homes and loved ones. Our state
is still dealing with river flooding, widespread power outages, and a huge
strain on our public services.
But amidst all this, there are miracle moments. Three
of us women gather every Tuesday morning for an hour to pray together and
go over a message from the Course. We seek to support each other in our
calling to keep the message of love at the center of all we do. As we shared
our storm experiences this week, we discovered that a major shift in our
collective thinking had taken place. And this happened to our three husbands
We discovered that, when faced with the possible destruction
of all of our worldly goods and our lovely waterfront homes, we each felt
our priorities shift to other values. We decided these structures and possessions,
no matter how much we treasured them, were really only temporary illusions.
(Although some are pretty nice illusions!!) In the face of possible death
and destruction, we each, separately, shared with our spouses and neighbors
that the only thing that lasts and that is worth preserving is our love
and concern for each other. So we turned our energies to helping our spouses
and neighbors do whatever was necessary to feel emotionally safe and protected.
We found ourselves sharing spontaneously our belief that God was not punishing
Florida by sending four hurricanes to whip us into shape, nor were those
who survived unscathed somehow more “Blessed” than those who perished or
This may seem only a common sense reaction to you, to
re-order your priorities at such a time. But do you know how difficult
and overwhelming it is to be evacuated from your precious home four times
in quick order, and not know if it will be there when you return, or if
you will survive the storm to come back home? We are not young women any
more and these homes represent life long dreams and years of hard work.
We are 52, 61 and 79 years old. We have suffered many losses in our lives.
We have seen parents, siblings and children pass over to the other side.
And suddenly, we faced the possibility that we may be going to join them.
It was an enlightening thought!
When the fourth hurricane passed, we looked at our worldly
possessions with new eyes. We each started sorting and giving away some
of our worldly “stuff.” We are ready for a simpler, less cluttered life.
And we are now celebrating our survival and doing all we can for those
in our county and state who have to start over and re-build their homes
and lives. We agreed that the new perspective we have gained from the Course
allowed us to go through these storms experiencing holy instants that kept
us sane. Our husbands are grateful that we choose to pray and study together
because it has enriched their lives too.
Thank you for dedicating your life to sharing the message
of the Course with others. Your work is multiplied millions of times over.
Your tapes and messages are flowing into many lives. I send a heartfelt
“Thank You” to those Course students who faithfully attend the weekly study
group and share their growth with us. You have no idea how dear you each
are to us listeners. It is so true that your issues and lessons are universal.
Each experience shared is a gift to us. We send our love and hold you all
up in light filled prayers.
– Sharon Sutter, Marlene Gordon and Mary Walke — Three
Blessed Hurricane Survivors!