Visiting the In Between
Practical Spirituality takes me to the next level, as I go with one of my students to visit and pray with her dying friend. I enter, following her lead, into a crowded hospital room. They are not really interested in introductions but I could feel that they had been expecting me. Perhaps they felt nervous, as did I. She was frail and withdrawn with one eye opened, her mouth slightly smiling as if she had suffered a stroke, and yet I saw her not for what she was in that moment, but for who she really was, in her beauty and health, before this day. She wanted everyone to stay for the prayer and had everyone come together over her bed and I directed them all to lay hands on her. I didn't have any time to play into shyness or timidness, I was there for only one reason... to pray and so I prayed. I called for the Almighty God that is Mother and Father to us all, the Universal Spirit, the Energy that is Love, to come and be with us, to hold her in its embrace to bring peace to her spirit. I lead her in a guided meditation with the intent of bringing her into a state of forgiveness, to forgive all those that have caused her pain or suffering in her life, to feel the forgivenss towards herself for all the things she felt she had fallen short of in her life. I prayed that this Spirit Of Love would hold her and chase away all her fears. I reassured her that in the eyes of God she was a beautiful and worthy creation and that she was much anticipated. I stroked her forehead gently as I spoke peace over her and felt her body relax deeply with every word I spoke. I asked for the Spirit to make itself known to her in her innermost core and that she would feel the Love all throughout her body. I whispered words in the tongue of angels over her sweetly and then planted a loving kiss upon her forehead with the intent of the Goddess, blessing her. I did not end with an "Amen" as I told them all I would not do, because I said "this prayer is not finished and the energy will continue to linger, as I had felt her body graciously welcoming the deep relaxation of the prayer. I turned to her mother and took her into my arms and held her despite her discomfort in being hugged, I said to her 'its okay, and she thought I meant that the situation was okay, realizing this I said, No, It's okay for me to hug you like this. And I hugged her somemore until I felt her let go just a little and then I turned to hug her granddaughter, there watching her mother slip away. She recieved my hug. The man in the room seemed allusive; I assumed it was her uncle. I sensed that he had not liked the idea of me being there or of what had just transpired in the room, but none the less he had come and prayed with us just the same. I left the room, taking with me a heavy sweet energy all about me. I felt energy vibrations, slow and heavy thoughout my body. I flet the power that I had just connected with, the life force energy, God. I waited to hear them stirring from the trance like state that I had left them all in together. I heard her asking loudly, Where am I ? Where am I? and I felt ready to return to the room, she looked right at me in recognition, into my eyes and I told her, "I know where you are" with a smile, a quiet sense of knowing. She was in the In Between. She asked for someone to call her minister, and for her friend to do so immediately. I knew I had re-awakened something deep inside her and now her Spirit was awakening. We sat and taked, she asked me about the tattoos on my hadn, she wanted to show me hers. We struggled together, her and I, gently pulling down the blue gown over her shoulder, but her bones were too weak and barely holding together with the shruken skin that held her together. But she did not give up and then she was reminded that the tattoo was on her other shoulder, she had forgotten. And there it was, a butterfly, just as she ahd proudly told me. We laughed. I left the room to get the nurses to come and take her to the commode. On my return I stopped to visit the lady in the next room, all by herself in the sunshine watching baseball, but she was looking at me and so I went into her. I helped her get her apple juice into the cup with thte starw, passing it to her. I asked her did she like sports or would she like for me to change the channel. She laughed telling me she loves baseball. I adjusted her curtainsto her specifiactions and then smiled to her as I left her to answer her phone call. My student and the Mother were in the hall while the nurses took the body to the loo. My student explained to the Mother that I was her Spiritual Teacher, I felt so honored. I felt the open door to share a little about myself, my journeys and my belief that neither religion or tradition can tell you how to experience God but that it is truly a personal experience. In perfect timing the Minister arrived. I introduced myself, talked cordially with him in his language, engaging him sublty in the matter of his Presbyterian denomination and his history. I felt it important to validate him and his role with this family with the Mother present. We all listened to his story of being third generation clergy, his view on the flux and sway of his congregation, his view on Heaven and Hell and of God's ultimate judgement. My student, feeling brave and courageous proceeded to question him on his dogmatic views on reincarnation, judgement, heaen and hell, ecen the existence of God! It was a wonderful interaction to experience, her strong spirit and his most assertive responses. It was fun. I brought the interaction to a close, as the nurses were leaving the room, I wanted to say a final farewell and to thank her for having allowed me the honor to have met her in these last hours of her life. There was peace in her face. On the way down the eleveator out to the car, my student and I devrieded this meeting of the minds with the minister. It was a perfect hand on experience showing us both just exactly how different our concept of spirituality is different. It was a wonderful learning tool to show her just exactly what the Conservative Christian view looks like. We laughed together and focused on our own journeys and the things we are learning to master in this human experience that we are in.