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July 20, 1987
“Are you okay?” asks Kendra.
“Huh?” For a moment I turn my head and look at her, then just as quickly look away again. “Yeah, I’m fine,” I mutter halfheartedly, as I sink back into the couch, resting my feet on the wicker chest that serves as a coffee table.
Leaning forward from her position next to me, Kendra picks up her cup of tea, takes an unhurried sip, then pauses with the cup held between her hands. “Are you sure you are okay?”
I don’t want to talk about it. Yes, I do. No, I don’t. I have been distracted all day. Begrudgingly, I realize that watching television is not going to drown it out after all. Technology has failed me again.
“I had a, uh, rather interesting experience during meditation this morning. I guess it is preoccupying me a bit.”
“A bit? That’s an understatement! You haven’t really been here since your body walked through the door over an hour ago!” She puts her cup down and leans back, slightly turned now so that she can look directly at me. She is not going to let me out of this one.
I sigh, let my shoulders relax, and fall into the memory of what happened this morning…
Let’s see. The iron is plugged in, so while it heats up I’ll just buzz into the kitchen and make my morning smoothie. A little juice, a little yogurt, two eggs, a dash of vanilla, one large banana, and two tablespoons of spirulina. I hit the button on the blender, and in an instant the whole thing is dark green.
“Ah, one of life’s beautiful pleasures,” I think to myself. A few gulps later, the pleasure has disappeared.
Checking the iron, I frown. It is still not quite ready. Well, I can make sure everything is in my briefcase. Papers? Check. Glasses? Check. Pen? Check. Certs? Where are the Certs? Why am I always out of Certs? Is there a Certs monster living in my briefcase?
I shrug my shoulders as I close my briefcase, setting it down in the foyer. I just won’t get too close to anyone when I’m speaking today.
At last the iron is ready, and in a few minutes I am donning an almost perfectly ironed shirt. Buttons are fastened and tails tucked in as I head for the bedroom to grab a tie, when it happens.
Out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason, I am hit with the sudden impulse to sit in meditation. The force of the thought is so powerful that it quite literally stops me in my tracks.
Finally managing to recover, my only reaction is: “This is absurd. I am not scurrying about like this because I have time to kill.” Nevertheless, the thought persists (if you can call a feeling that resounds throughout your body and is also a voice seemingly coming from all around you, a ‘thought’).
In fact, the experience is so impactful that my priorities suddenly switch as I walk back out to the living room, and plop down on the couch. Crossing my legs, I glance for a moment out the window at the waters of Puget Sound, where a tanker slowly makes its way past Vashon Island.
“Really, this is absurd.” The voice of reason is softer now, making one last attempt to win my attention.
I begin to breathe softly, gently, rhythmically. In time my eyes naturally close, and I am increasingly aware of the myriad of thoughts whirling arid swirling and tumbling through my mind. At first they seem to gobble me up, eliciting momentary emotions, generating yet other thoughts in reaction. Slowly I become more and more the witness of this display of mindstuff, releasing attachment to content, resting more and more into awareness itself.
There comes now a growing sense of peace, of ease, as when churning waves begin to melt back into a vast and quiet sea. The thoughts grow fewer and fewer, until there is only silence. My breath is barely perceptible, sea of mind calm, clear, empty. That the meditation experience has been reduced to physiological mechanisms of the “relaxation response” by the God of Science means little when compared to the feeling of this most marvelous experience. It is the most natural of the most natural.
Perfect stillness begins to give way, but not to the usual rebirth of thoughts. Out of emptiness there emerges a soft, golden light, like a pinprick star in the dark of night. It grows effortlessly, steadily, expanding and expanding, coming closer and closer until it completely fills the field of my inner vision, until it suffuses my entire being, until there is nothing but that supernal light.
Kendra has been listening with rapt attention as I describe the experience.
“That’s it, Kendra. I know this probably sounds corny, but that is it.”
She has a puzzled look on her face, so needs to say nothing.
“I mean, that place, that feeling. If I could live in that feeling, that place, there would be nowhere else to go, nothing to strive for, nothing and nowhere to be or become. Am I making sense?”
Why is she smiling? Why are her eyes glowing?
“Oh, Marc! That is wonderful!” Kendra softens a bit, then continues. “You are very fortunate, you know.”
Her statement stops me. I stare at her for a long while.
“Marc,” she interrupts, “do you know how many people would love to experience that state? You are the one who has a library full of books from every culture, every philosophical perspective, every religion. You know that, at their heart, they all talk in varying terms of this type of experience.”
She has obviously missed the point. Probably because I hedged a bit when I recounted the story. I notice my breath coming a little faster now, and feel a growing tension in my jaw.
Kendra is silent, but her eyes are riveted on me, silently questioning my lack of enthusiasm. No longer able to hold it within myself, I break the silence. “It’s that, uh, well, there was a little more to it than that.”
“More to it? What was more to it? Marc,” she asks imploringly, “what is more to it?”
“Kendra,” I pause and turn to look at her, “do you promise not to, well, say anything?”
“You aren’t ever going to be able to say anything again if you don’t fess up!” she cries as she lovingly, but not so gently, pokes me in the ribs.
I look away, not at anything in particular, but rather back into a memory still fresh and alive, the kind of memory that I somehow know will always remain that clear.
“I opened my eyes, and the pinprick of light was right in the center of the room. Out of the heart of that light there began to emerge a form, an image of someone. It appeared as if it were dressed in long, radiant robes of some kind. The form began gliding toward me, becoming more and more distinct, and yet was surely identical with the Light from which it sprang.”
Growing more comfortable with the sharing of this experience, I turn to look at Kendra. “As the form came closer, I suddenly recognized him. It was as if a friend not seen for many years has just walked around the corner, and in the instant you lay your eyes on him you know who it is without asking, without any deliberation. But in this case there was also the recognition that I had not seen him with my physical eyes. Does that make sense?”
Kendra’s face reveals her answer: one of agreement, of acceptance - one that allows me to continue.
“He came closer and closer, and I felt an increasing intensity of energy, like waves of joy and warmth, until his eyes were all I could see. And then his eyes seemed to pour right through me, and I felt like I was dissolving into them, into those incredibly peaceful eyes.”
Pausing now, I am not certain whether to continue, but Kendra is not about to let me stop. Her expression is one of curiosity. She studies me for a moment.
Damn. Now I am cornered. I have seen that look before. She is not going to let me go anywhere until I confess all.
“He communicated with me, or to me, I guess.”
“And?” She won’t even let me catch my breath now. “What did he say?”
My shoulders begin to hunch a bit, chin dropping to my chest. “He said that he has a message to deliver to me. He said it was about the work he is doing, or something like that.”
She can be so unrelenting!
Why am I struggling with this? Kendra has been with me through it all. Every high, every low. Even the very lowest of lows. She knows me better than anyone - maybe even better than I know myself - and she still loves me! If that is not a miracle, then there are no miracles.
The hell with it. The FBI she is not. I blurt out the rest. “He said I had known him during his lifetime, and he, uh, he told me his name,”
I continue softly. “It is a name, a lifetime, which has been an enigma, it seems, for the whole world.”
“Well? If you are attempting to try my patience, you are succeeding!”
“Okay, okay! He said I am familiar with him as ‘Jeshua.’”
“You mean theeee Jeshua? The one we all know as Jesus?”
“Yeah, that Jeshua.”
Now Kendra is quite animated. “Well, what else did he say? What is his message? Oh, Marc, this is more marvelous than I thought, than I can think! What is he going to, when is he…?”
“Hold on!” I throw up my hands, demanding silence.
“What is so marvelous about it all? Kendra, out of the heart of a nice, peaceful meditation, this being has emerged, announced casually that his name is Jeshua, that he was, and is, known as Jesus, that he is going to give me some message, and to, well, to top it off, he said that I knew him!”
“So, what’s the big deal?”
“What’s the big deal? God, do you think I want this to happen? Look, I will admit that I am open to reading about this kind of thing, but, it’s just that, well…”
She places her hand on my arm. “It is just that what, Marc?”
“It is just that this scares me. I mean, it’s all well and good to examine metaphysics and the like from the standpoint of an observer. That is what the intellect gives us: room between us and the experience itself! Nothing has to change, you see? I can read books, go to workshops and lectures, do all that sort of thing, but part of me can still be safe! Besides, what if it is all one big ego trip? What if I am making it all up?”
Her smile fades as she realizes my fear is real. She sits reflectively for a moment, takes a cigarette out of the pack sitting next to her cup of tea, picks up her lighter, then relaxes back into the sofa.
Still looking down, she asks: “Do you remember what I shared with you about my session with Jeremiah?”
Her question seems to trigger the memory, and it all rushes forward into my consciousness, as if someone had slipped by the security guards to my archives, picked a file off an obscure shelf in a dimly lit corner, and blown the dust off, revealing the label:
Jeremiah. Nonphysical entity channeled by Billie
Ogden. Kendra is given bizarre, unverifiable
information March 1987. File for future reference.
“Yeah, I remember. We met for lunch at that cafe in Ballard.”
“Do you remember what I shared with you?”
She knows I just don’t want to open the file on this. Recognizing my reluctance, she sits up a little straighter and speaks more firmly. “Jeremiah, if you will remember, gave me some rather startling information about you, me, and about Jesus. Don’t you recall how excited I was about it?”
“Okay, okay. I remember, but I’d conveniently forgotten it, until now.”
“Don’t you think it’s interesting that a channeled entity you have never even seen would say that you and I had known each other then, and that we had been present when Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount? And I hadn’t even mentioned your name!”
I wince. Now it is my turn to pick up a cigarette. I turn it over and over in my hand, watching little strands of tobacco spill out. I don’t even smoke.
Kendra continues. “I told you then, and I’ll tell you again. When Jeremiah said that, it was like somebody throwing the shutters open. Marc, there just isn’t any doubt in my mind about it, even if you insist that it is too far-fetched. And now you are essentially being told something similar. Why are you having such a hard time with this?”
Tired of picking off strands of tobacco from between my fingers, I toss the cigarette down.
“You could always go see Jeremiah, and ask him what is going on.”
I sigh, get up off the sofa, and stroll over to the glass doors, opening them a bit wider in order to feel the breeze which is beginning to kick up. It is probably a scout from the rain gods always hiding in the Northwest.
The thought of dealing with yet another one of those invisible souls - or entities, or discarnate beings, or whatever they are - is just not very attractive to me.
I begin speaking without turning to face her. “You know, nearly three years ago I was riding in the back of a friend’s car, on the way home from Seattle where we had been attending a business seminar. In the midst of our conversation, Lyndia turned to me and suggested that I go see Jonah, that she had just been hit with the feeling that it would be good for me to do. Heck, I thought she was talking about a band or something. She hesitated, then explained that Jonah was a channeled entity.”
Turning back to Kendra now, I continue. “God, the hair stood up on my arms! But then I realized it wasn’t because of fear; it was because her suggestion was, well, right. I had never even remotely considered such a thing; it smacked of fairytale ‘woo woo’ stuff. But I went. And somehow nothing has ever been quite the same. It was as if Jonah knew why I had come, and he left no doubt that he knew me through and through.”
Returning to the couch, I plop myself down. Kendra still has not lit her cigarette, which is just fine with me.
“He said some things that sent wavelike sensations through me, sensations that were some sort of recognition of the truth of what he shared. Some of what he said keeps rising to the surface of my mind from time to time, and I remember knowing somehow that it was particularly important, though I had no idea why it felt that way. He said:
My friend, ye have been what would be termed
as a philosopher many times.
Is it not so again?
Indeed, ye were -
in that which ye would understand
as “past incarnation” -
associated with that of a Great One,
a great master.
Be of assuredness ye were not this Great One,
but ye were in association with this one.
I look at Kendra and quickly anticipate her question. “No, it never occurred to me to ask who this ‘Great One’ was. As he spoke I was getting pins and needles up and down my spine. I couldn’t think, let alone talk. In fact, Jonah said it would be good to pause, as I had much to ponder.
“Since then, I have had a rash of what might be called ‘mystical’ experiences, not to mention odd coincidences, hunches, and feeling drawn to people and books - as if some invisible magnet was pulling me first one direction, then another. And then, one innocent Saturday morning, I heard Jonah speaking to me. I jumped out of bed and scribbled down the words, complete with his trademark phrases like ‘for goodness sakes’ and ‘ye’ instead of ‘you.’ Do you have any idea how wary I was of that?”
“Of course I do! And don’t forget the time at the lecture in Bellevue, when you heard him tell you he would speak directly to you - hours before the evening actually started and then he got up and walked right to you, basically announcing to everyone that he had been communicating with you.”
It is not a memory one can forget, but she knows that.
“Yes! And I was, I am, still wary!”
She finally lights her cigarette, and takes a long, reflective draw of it. “You know, Marc, if you are suspicious of Jeremiah, you could always ask Jonah.
My reply takes no forethought. “Kendra, I just don’t want to run off and ask some being who somehow inhabits a human body from time to time what I am experiencing right now. But I will leave my options open, okay? I prefer to work on this myself.”
She is watching, studying me. I can feel it. What subtle information is she picking up?
“For over three years now you have cultivated a deep admiration for the love and guidance Jonah gives, and you also know from experience that his counsel is impeccable. What could he possibly say that frightens you so?”
That’s it. That is what she was picking up. Fear.
I turn a bit toward her, bending my leg and placing my foot under the other thigh. It doesn’t feel right, so I try the other way. It’s no good either. Finally I put my feet back on the floor. “Look, it seems to me that there are only two options here. Jonah could either reply that it is happening, or he could reply that it is not happening - that it is all my grandiose imagination.”
Kendra looks baffled. “So what’s wrong with that?”
“Kendra, don’t you see? If it is happening, then I will have to do something with it! And if I am somehow making it all up, I really will have a problem to deal with, the kind that usually requires the help of a shrink, who will probably have to visit me on his rounds at Western State Hospital!”
“Is that what you are afraid of?”
“I think I am afraid of both outcomes. Right now, I would just as soon avoid the whole issue.”
“Look, aren’t you ultimately in control here? Why not go with this for awhile, and if it doesn’t seem right you can always chuck it. You do not have to share any of it with anyone if you don’t want to.”
She is right of course. The obvious truth seems to calm me a bit. I’m breathing easier now.
“Well, Jeshua did say that I should begin writing down whatever is communicated. That if, when he is present, I would simply focus my awareness on him as I open my eyes, I will be able to maintain the connection. I don’t suppose that could possibly hurt anything, could it?”
Turning my head toward the window, I notice that the warm summer sun has disappeared behind a small bank of deep blue clouds hovering over the top of Vashon Island. The rain gods have revealed themselves.
Without turning back, I continue speaking. “There is one other thing. I realized this morning that it is not the first time I have had this contact.”
Kendra sits up quickly, resting her hand on my arm. “It isn’t? When…?”
“A few weeks ago, when we were all camping at the beach.”
It is early morning, the dawn beginning to melt away the night. I walk along a sandy shore at water’s edge, gazing first to the right, out to a cloudless horizon; then ahead to distant, steep cliffs, where a barely perceptible waterfall pours silently down to meet the sea, crashing majestically into giant boulders at the base of the cliffs.
An eagle suddenly leaves its perch high atop the towering evergreens that blanket the sloping hillsides to the left. Its giant wings move powerfully through the air; piercing eyes survey all that lies below. There is no question whose country this is.
It has become a habit. Since we first stumbled upon this glorious place, we have come here at least once a year. Building camps out of the plentiful driftwood, exploring the endless pools created by the outgoing tides, and standing awestruck beneath a canopy of stars that simply cannot be seen anywhere remotely near civilization. Luckily it is not one of those beaches found easily, unless one already knows the way.
I walk from our camp to the northernmost end of the beach, eyes dancing momentarily with the eagle soaring across an empty sky. I come to my favorite “just sitting” rock, large enough to keep me just above the surf. Squatting on my haunches and watching the surf pound against the rock, I begin to sense an incredible grace and beauty: the rock and the surf are playing together. Staring down at this exquisite interplay, the rhythm penetrates me until I feel what I hear.
There is an odd feeling beginning to grow within me. Not quite like an ache, and certainly not painful. It is more like a faint hum, a vibration. I feel it in the center of my body, near my heart. Moving now, it expands as it rises to fill my head. It seems so odd to be both feeling and passively witnessing this strange little phenomenon.
The words emerge out of that vibration, as clear and distinct as if someone were talking into my ear. With them, the vibration seems to have changed somehow, and I begin to feel an energy, a warmth, unlike any sensation I have ever felt. It is sublime, and peaceful beyond description.
The words startle me, for there is an unmistakable sense of familiarity, as when the person you love most in the whole world calls and, when you answer the phone, they simply say “hello” and you know who it is.
I am glad that you have come to this point
of being willing to allow
this communication to take place.
Rest assured that I will be speaking with you more
often in the future
I cannot maintain the connection. The energy fades, and I again hear the surf pounding in its dance against the boulder just below me. I see the sunlight flicker across the ocean, and I feel the breeze - now blowing strongly - against my skin. I realize that I have not been aware of any of these things: not surf, nor breeze, nor sunlight.
Shaking my head, I rise, but painfully. My legs are stiff. How long have I been sitting like this?
What was that?” I mutter to myself as, finally, I am able to move my legs. Climbing carefully off the boulder, I jump the last few feet down into the sand warmed by a sun which has now risen quite high into the morning sky.
I begin walking back to camp, and suddenly there is trepidation. I resist. “No, it cannot be.” I know this being, somewhere within myself, yet I cannot name him. Or perhaps I refuse to.
Back at camp, friends are stirring, breakfast begun. I sit quietly, watching gentle waves roll into shore and recede back into the sea, comforted by that timeless, rhythmic sound, while emotions stir somewhere deep inside me as if from a place unknown. Or is it a place merely forgotten?
“Do you want some more tea?” I ask, after recounting my experience at the beach.
Kendra doesn’t answer. She sits motionless, looking not so much at me as through me.
I walk into the kitchen and put the kettle on to boil. “Peppermint again?”
She gets up from the sofa, walks to the kitchen entrance, and leans against the wall. I don’t think she heard me ask what kind of tea she wants, so peppermint will have to do.
“I remember now.” Her voice is soft, eyes staring off into memories. “I remember glancing over and seeing you sitting on that log, aimlessly kicking your feet through the sand, just staring out at the ocean. It struck me that something was going on with you, but it didn’t seem appropriate to disturb you, so I continued helping with breakfast.”
I put the teabag in the ceramic pot and pour boiling water into it. Replacing the lid, I turn back to the stove, this time remembering to turn the heat off.
“Marc, I think you need to accept that something is going on here, don’t you?”
I take the lid off the teapot, bend over and peer into the now slightly colored water, steam rising to warm my cheeks. Yep, it is starting to smell like peppermint.
Replacing the lid, I turn to face her. “Yeah, something is happening here. But it perplexes me, to say the least. I didn’t ask for it, and I don’t know what to do with it, or even why it is happening. I guess it is a little disorienting.”
“That is a brilliant observation!”
The sparkle in her eyes, together with a loving jab into my ribs, helps release a growing pressure with me.
“You know, Kendra, the whole bent of my own spiritual path has been to the East.”
My own statement triggers a stream of memories, still images sweeping by, comprising the motion picture of my spiritual and philosophical pursuits: initiation into the art of meditation nearly twenty years ago, college days spent drinking in the sublime beauty of the Tao Te Ching, the succinctness of Zen Buddhism, the rich and timeless mystical poetry of the Upanishads, the fascinating story of the warrior Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. Later, the transformative but sublime practice of yoga; hours, weeks, months, years of postures; breathing; deepening awareness; letting go in body, mind, and spirit; endless mantras dissolving into the clear and empty space of samadhi. There were experiences of the Siddhis, or “powers”; telepathy, astral travel, outofbody, pastlife recognitions. Warned that these things are but passing phenomena, I had let them go. All these images and more, swiftly seen in but an instant.
Our eyes meet, two friends so close that we do not so much share our lives with one another as blend together. The boundaries of our separate lives are grey, overlapping, flowing into and out of one another. She already knows all these things.
“You know, if a god from the Hindu pantheon had appeared like Krishna, or maybe Rama, or maybe a good ol’ Zen Patriarch, heck, the Buddha himself! then I don’t think I would have any trouble with this. It would fit, wouldn’t it? But Jesus? Jeeeeezzzus, Kendra!”
We stand and continue looking deep into each other’s eyes, recognizing the unintended pun.
Finally, I break the silence. “You want that tea now?”
Kendra takes the cup, cradling it in both hands, savoring the warmth it brings. Without looking up, she asks quietly: “Just what is a philosopher, anyway?”
“It comes from Greek, two words, actually: ‘philo,’ which basically means love, and ‘sophia,’ which means wisdom. Philo sophia: the love of wisdom. A philosopher is a lover of wisdom.
It is later in the day now, and I am alone. Sitting down on the couch and crossing my legs, I relax, gazing into the last traces of a soft and nurturing sunset.
My gaze becomes progressively less focused, my breathing calmer, more rhythmic. It feels as if my eyes are withdrawing into my head and as has happened before they begin to naturally draw upward. There is a sensation, as if my consciousness is becoming focused in the front of my brain, just at the back of my forehead. My surroundings begin to recede from awareness, allowing recognition of an inner environment to emerge.
Now there is a sense of movement, and I am led by someone toward what appears to be a door. It opens, and I glide forward through a tunnel of magnificent, pulsating lights. As I near the end there is a bright light, which begins to take on the form of a man in radiant garments. The face is now familiar.
Now, we begin.
Begin to open your eyes, Marc.
Yet allow your awareness to rest with Me.
The words are both heard and seen, appearing against an empty backdrop. But more than this, I can feel them.
I am the one
the world knows
and now you have come
to where I AM.
Our first meetings
will be brief.
It should be viewed as
an exercise for you
in learning to acclimate
to what may be called My frequency.
where I AM is never
inaccessible to you,
nor to any of the Father’s sons,
for that is,
who you are;
each and everyone of you.
And the time of remembrance
is upon you.
Who among you will choose to awaken
from the dream you chose to dream
so very long ago?
What I will share with you
during these first communications
is not what you would call
if you dwell upon what I will share with you,
it can, indeed,
accelerate your own journey home.
I have been with you always.
you have known Me.
You are a servant of the Light
many call God.
It is all you have ever been,
even throughout the many experiences -
what you call “incarnations” -
you created in order to hide
from the truth you have always been.
It is permissible
to relinquish your dream.
It can serve you no longer.
It has brought you to the recognition -
through your experience -
of all the forms of avoidance
the human soul has ever devised,
all because it deems itself
unworthy of its heritage!
I will share with you
My final message
to the sons of the Living God.
When this task is completed,
I shall return to where I AM, awaiting the heralding
of the New Age of Light
upon this physical plane.
It is soon to be manifest.
I will leave you.
I would endeavor to impress upon you
the conviction of the Truth you know.
Trust your inner voice.
It neither fails
nor deceives you.
It is in silent humility
that the voice of the Father speaks.
Do know that I,
the one you know as Jeshua,
am indeed with you always,
Rest in peace.
As his energy fades away I gradually come back to my everyday reality. Come back? Where did I go? What went where? What does it mean to “come to where I AM”? Where is that? What have I left without moving a muscle? My “dream”? With a sudden start, I look around me; stereo, fireplace, plants on the balcony moving in the wind.
I recall how Bishop Berkeley, an 18th-century philosopher, had once argued that our experience is very much a dream. Having heard enough of it, a student walked outside, shouting that he would refute the good Bishop’s outlandish philosophy, and promptly kicked a stone with all his might, breaking his toe! Of course, he had missed the point, but part of me wants very much to kick the stone, too.
I begin to have a sneaking suspicion that I will not find an understanding for this experience by looking around me. And that is disconcerting.
August 15, 1987
Now, we begin.
Such Love have I
for the sons of God,
be they momentarily identified
as male or female for -
in Truth -
the Son is One.
The Son is that
which springs forth eternally
from the Holy Father
which is unspeakable,
and yet is ever present fullness.
the Love I feel
is the Love I AM.
This term signifies
not merely I as “Jeshua,”
but the Truth and Reality
of what we all are.
Allow yourselves to feel
the truth of this,
that each and everyone of you
is here but for one reason:
to realize the Truth
and to come home again.
Never upon the earth
has the opportunity to do so
been such as it is now.
Yet even when the son
stands at the door and knocks,
and the Father has opened the door,
there remains a choice to be made.
What will be your choice?
Kendra places the communication down on the table, but does not yet take her eyes from it. “Sorry it took me so long to read. Your chicken scratch is horrible!”
“It seems to come so fast that I can barely keep up with it. Even I have a hard time reading my own writing. Maybe I should learn shorthand!”
Now she smiles, and lifts her eyes from the paper resting between us. “I want you to know that it feels good to me, Marc. I encourage you to go ahead with this thing, whatever it is to be.”
I fidget a little. God, it would be nice to have her say it all sounded trite and worthless.
“‘The Son is One.’ When he said that, it struck me quite deeply, but, hell, I don’t know.” I get out of my chair and walk over to check on the ming tree. I never check the plants. Even though I profess to love houseplants, it’s possible they could be dead for months before I would notice.
“Marc, may I make a suggestion?”
“Of course. Suggest away!”
“When you go on vacation to Molokai in a few weeks, why not spend some time contemplating all this? Maybe you’ll get some answers on why it’s happening and on what is happening. It seems important to me, somehow. What do you think?”
I do not need to think about that suggestion. “No way! The last thing I want to do is try to figure this out. I am going to kick back, unwind, and just be a normal tourist. My main task is to soak up as much of that glorious Hawaiian sun as possible, and all my energy is going into that!”
I guess the plant will live, even with my negligence. Returning to the table, I plop down in the chair and pick up the communication.
“Look, I feel that I do need to go with this experience. Yet something in me doesn’t really want to. But I know that I can always burn the stuff, or at least tuck it away in a box and bury it somewhere.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“For now, not much. If and when it happens, it happens. What I will do is make sure I’m never too far from a writing tablet, and, heck, if any more communications come, maybe I’ll jot down a few notes. You know: where I am, what is going on, that sort of thing.”
A smile breaks across my face, and I look at Kendra.
She returns my smile, with a question. “What are you thinking?”
“Oh, I just got this image of my grandchildren opening an old trunk filled with their grandpa’s artifacts, including these old and yellowed pages of weird notes and conversations with an invisible friend. When they ask their mom about it, she’ll reply, ‘Well, that’s why they had to lock your grandpa up, dear! Now you just put that away and go play out in the yard.’”
Kendra is laughing now, shaking her head. “You have such a weird sense of humor!”
A few moments pass, and now she looks at me, a bit more thoughtfully. “Marc, how did you feel about Jesus while you were growing up?”
The sudden shift in our conversation catches me off guard, and seems to unlock a chestful of memories. I see myself going to church on Sundays with my parents. Endless rounds of sermons and Sunday school lessons. That part I didn’t like very much.
“My father would drop me off in front of the church for Sunday school, and I would pretend to be heading inside, but as soon as he was around the corner, off I would be! I would go downtown and spend my offering on a chocolate shake.”
Kendra’s eyes are wide with surprise, but they are smiling. “You! That’s, that’s almost sacrilegious!”
I smile at the memory. “Well, hang me at dawn. But I remember feeling very good about Jesus, when I could manage to separate him from all the dogma. I felt like here was this being who knew something. I mean, really knew something. I felt like he was somebody you could really trust.”
Her voice becomes a little softer now. “Why can’t you trust him now?”
“Kendra! That was a Jesus coming to me through someone else’s filter! He lived in stories, and told parables that were like Rorschach ink blots. And he lived safely in history! That Jesus is easy to trust! You can believe anything about him you want to, and how is he going to defend himself?”
Without moving her head, she lifts her eyes and looks directly at me. “Maybe by making house calls.”
She has stopped me dead in my tracks.
“Are you saying that you believe this Jeshua is that Jesus?”
“Isn’t that what he said?”
“How did it feel when he said it?”
She rests her chin in her hand now, and looks right at me.
Turning my head to look out the window, I answer her softly. “As good and as real as those chocolate shakes used to taste.”
But I can’t let it go at that. Emotion begins to build within me; a struggle to remain convinced that Jeshua is not Jesus. No matter what it feels like to me, this experience just cannot be real. Well, not that real.
“Look, Jesus lives in the pages of the Bible, and in obscure esoteric texts, and in the hopes of some people’s hearts, but I cannot believe that he appears out of some field of light during the course of a meditation in twentieth-century America!”
I drop my head a bit. “Besides, even if he does, this is not the message empires have been built on, that millions of people have pinned the hopes of their soul on. God, Kendra, I can’t share a message like this, from such a source as him! They’d, they’d…”
“Crucify you?” she completes my thought, with more than a slightly bemused look on her face.
“Yes!” I blurt out my reply, then quickly catch myself. “Well, probably not literally, but I just don’t want the hassle.”
We both grow quiet. “Marc.”
“What if ‘they’ have been wrong?”