Every month, as I sit down to write my blog, I think, “This will be my last post. It’s time to stop. Too many people are creating, publishing, and screaming for recognition, for me to add one more word.” (As if anyone is actually reading my posts, itself perhaps an illusion.) “I’ll just stop. Give everyone a break.” But then some uplifting or fascinating story grabs my attention, and I want to pass it on. It happened this time, too: a Christmas present from the Universe, as I call the majestic, expansive, divine, unknowable energy we call God, a gift from Spirit, or spirits plural, from that pulsating mystery that we catch occasional glimpses of before the windows slam shut.
This story concerns my work, but it’s not interesting for that. It’s intriguing for what it says about fate, kismet, predestination, about life after death, and the importance of the most insignificant of actions, events that we dismiss as imagination, or “fun,” but certainly not necessarily “real.”
It begins, as most spiritual stories (and some books) do, with doubt and deprivation, fear and anguish, as I felt myself last week falling into one of my dark holes and questioning (again!), why was I born? What have I ever done of any use? Mind you, it’s not as if I haven’t led a charmed and marvel-rich life, full of adventure, love, learning, success, failure, goodness and hardship. Yet these bleak moods fall over me suddenly like a mantle, it seems, and what I do is pray. As I prayed then: “God, take this from me, unless it’s teaching something— thy will be done.” Or simply, “HELP!”
Immediately help came.
It always does, if we pay attention. Within hours an email blinked in from a stranger in California asking to talk, tell a story– the very one I’m about to repeat to you, and by the time we had finished talking by phone the following day, my heart was flying around the ceiling, calling and crowing with exuberance.
Elisabeth is in her thirties, a healer, very spiritual. In January of this year, before the pandemic, she applied for a job as a professional nanny to a movie actress, and arriving at the interview discovered her prospective employer interviewing a well-known medical intuitive for a podcast. (I don’t feel comfortable telling names without permission.) She was asked to wait a few minutes in the living room, where on entering she found a monk, dressed in typical monk costume: robe, cowl, sandals. She assumed he was an actor on some gig, but he seemed weird. He stared at her. He came right up in her face. She backed away, then went to the powder room—except he followed her right in. “Stop that!” She told him. “Go away. You can’t come in here.”
“Oh.” He looked surprised. “You can see me.”
Now he was not only weird but crazy.
“Of course I can see you. Get out.”
When she returned to the living room, he asked her to look out the window. “Where am I now?” he asked with her back turned.
“There.” She pointed.
“You really can see me. Most people can’t.” And he apologized. He noted that Elisabeth had crystals in her eyes, and she admitted that both she and her sister can see a wider range of the red spectrum than most people.
I go into these details in case someone knows of any explanation for something I don’t understand. He said he was The Voice of Compassion. It turned out he was a spirit and the companion to the medical intuitive who was being interviewed for a podcast in the next room. They talked together comfortably. At one point she asked, “What’s it like being dead?”
“Oh, that’s a difficult question,” he answered. “There are so many answers, but when you go to visit your grandmother this Fall in Minnesota, go up in her bedroom and look on her bedside table and you’ll find a book by Sophy Burnham that has the best description of what it’s like after you die than any I know.”
She had no plans to visit her grandparents in Minnesota in the fall (and how did the V. of Compassion know the grandmother, or that she lived in Minnesota?) but put that problem aside. Their conversation continued for some time, including later standing at the door with the medical intuitive and the prospective employer. For the purposes of this record, what happened later is not relevant. She was hired for the job, however, and then the pandemic struck.
In the Fall, perhaps early November, her grandfather died, and her grandmother was in such a state of grief that Elisabeth moved to Minnesota to stay with her. It was from Minnesota that she telephoned me last week a few days before my birthday, because once there she remembered her encounter with the monk, and on her grandmother’s bedside table found as directed my book, A Book of Angels, which contains at the end a Future Life Progression. Elisabeth had just finished reading it, and—overwhelmed—had phoned.
We must have talked for an hour or more, and when I put down the phone I was likewise overcome with humility and gratitude, for prayers answered, for the knowledge that even in the spirit world my work has met with approval, for confirmation of fate, as if the book of our lives is written in advance. (How did the monk KNOW she would visit her grandmother in the Fall?) And especially with awe before the questions all this raises— what about Free Will, or, ‘co-creation’ with God, as some describe it? For those of us given gifts of insight into other dimensions, why do we still have moments of doubt, disappointment? Is there meaning to life, or is the meaning different for each individual at different moments of our lives? Are those who suffer loss, poverty, homelessness, violence, war, fear — did they agree to such lives before they came down? Why are we born, and why as ourselves? Is suicide spiritually forbidden, “wrong?” What about abortion? Doesn’t every spirit have the choice of NOT being born to an unhealthy life? Oh, I have nothing but questions, even as my soul soars with hope, love, joy at the beauty and bounty of this life and the next.
I’m pretty sure that all that is really asked of us is to be compassionate to those in need— to help, love, care; and I’m pretty sure that those who take on that warrior role (the lost and homeless, the mentally ill and incarcerated, the tortured or victims of violence, war, rape, poverty, loss, pain) are the heroes on this sorrowful, joyful, magnificent planet where we briefly live. Briefly. Gone in the blink of an eye. Except evidently, we’re not. Gone, I mean.
I’m still up there at the ceiling, my soul soaring with love and joy.
Happy Christmas, world. Happy holy days. Happy coming of the Light.
What a wonderful post and what an extraordinary validation of who you are and what you’ve done thru the years. I’ve been an admirer of you and your work for eons. Thank you so much for sharing this. It so lifted my spirits!
Sophy, what a fascinating story in so many ways! I wish you and I could somehow sit and talk for a long time about all of these things. I am so grateful for what you write – it has made a real difference in my life. I am grateful for what you share of your personal journey as well as the amazing stories that come to you to be told. I hope you keep writing and sharing here. I look forward to your blog posts so much, and they always speak to my soul. There is a lot of content out there, but none like this. BTW – I read Margaret Dulaney’s book “The Parables of Sunlight” and loved it so much I am reading it again! Thank you for writing about it in an earlier post. Happy Christmas, happy holy days, so much light to you. I wish you well!
I have three of your books — including A Book of Angels — and treasure each one. You have so often helped and inspired me. Like you, I sometimes think I should stop posting; there’s already so much out there in cyberspace. Yet I’m glad of your posts — they let me know I’m not alone in the help and messages I receive from the invisible world. Wishing you love, light, and a Happy Christmas.