I had such a good time sharing this sermon as a guest speaker for our local Center for Spiritual Living, Anacortes, and the congregation enjoyed it too, so I thought I would share my notes. Hope this inspires you to trust the Magic of Spirit.
Sermon, September 1, 2019
The Magic of Trusting Spirit (aka God)
As per usual these days—these magical days—I teared up a few times while composing this sermon. While researching the concepts I want to share with you, I came upon a story of transformation and healing in race relations through the magic of Mr. Rogers neighborhood. Hmm... I bet you didn’t see that coming, did you? But here’s the thing:
The magic of Spirit is everywhere, and is in operation all the time. Spirit’s magic is available to all to transform even the most hardened hearts and minds, and fill those hearts and minds with love rather than fear. So here’s why I got all misty this morning:
Mr Rogers was a minister and educator who knew that role modeling was so important to positively affect children’s minds. As kind and sweet as Mr Rogers was as a man, he was also a master magician who used God’s magic as a positive force. In one episode in 1969—the year when a white hotel owner threw chemicals at black people swimming in the hotel swimming pool—he wanted to cool off his feet in a small kiddie pool in his front yard. As he soaked his feet, he was thinking aloud about the many ways to express love. Onto the scene enters long time neighbor, police officer Clemens, a black man, who is invited to soak his feet in the pool with Mr Rogers for awhile ...
I'm telling you right now, there was no more perfect way to demonstrate love and respect for all people than that. God’s magic in a children’s pool.
God’s magic in our lives: Why do we not see it more often? I think maybe it’s because we have forgotten how powerful we are—if we are truly created in God’s image, how can we think otherwise?
There may be a few of you who know that I’ve been on the hunt for a long term home for my hubby and I. This has been my quest: H.O.M.E: a place to relax and be nurtured, a place where I know where my toothbrush is and where to put back the wooden spoon I just used to make a lovely meal in the kitchen I love. A place to invite my community and family into. Home.
8 years ago, due to both financial circumstances beyond our control and financial decisions within our control, Jim and I chose to leave our home of 20 years because we could no longer afford to live in it. So, we set about finding a new and affordable home. It's been a magical journey, if not one fraught with complications such as Jim’s death and rebirth from cardiac arrest and stroke, and the ever-growing expensiveness of life.
Yet now that we are close to accepting the gift of a long term home (!!!! Yep, you heard that right!!!!) in the town we love, I understand how much the magic of Spirit has been at play through it all. Religious Science teacher and founder Ernest Holmes stated as much when he wrote: "I live in the faith that there is a Presence & Power greater than I am that nurtures and supports me in ways I could not even imagine. I know that this Presence is All knowing and All Power and is always right where I am.”
This presence, this power is the magical presence and power of Spirit in our lives and if we were to trust it, we will see abundantly positive results in our lives.
I love magic, and I love watching magicians practice their craft. Now, most magicians are not necessarily tricksters, even though they play tricks on our perceptions. Rather, they are smart people who know how to use tools available to all of us to create opportunities. And so it is with Spirit’s magic: there are tools we can all use to create opportunities of manifesting what we desire. Let me share a few:
I’ll start with intention: Any magical result always starts with this: State your intention. Stated intention is akin to planning the garden and then planting seeds for the best outcome in that garden. Intention also helps to focus the flow of nurturing that garden so that our intentions are created.
Years ago, my youngest son was the driver in a car accident that severely injured his then-girlfriend, and powerfully impacted his life in ways that are still in effect today. That accident focused the flow of my attention and support as his parent, and the days were occupied by healing his friend, supporting him, and finding the correct legal help for him…so there wasn’t a whole lot of bandwidth to dedicate to replacing the almost new car wrecked in the accident. Nor was there there the insurance money to buy a new car. Due to the kindness of a friend, I drove around in a borrowed car for awhile but how in the world would I find a replacement we could afford?
Most vehicles I looked at were rather, um, humble, which was fine except that they were also in sad shape and in varying states of disrepair. I was getting frustrated and angry at this state of affairs, when a friend asked me an important question: “Are you using your magic?” Sheepishly, I realized that I—a spiritual teacher no less!— was not. So, I stated my intentions to Spirit: “OK, listen up, Spirit. I need a car that runs well, is gas efficient, and that I’m not embarrassed to drive. It needs to be $2000 at most, and… I need to look cute while driving it.” I threw that last one as a little vanity joke, but I actually meant what I stated: No sense looking bad in a bad car.
With intent clearly stated, I re-looked at Craigslist and found a cute car in Bellingham. Called the number. A woman with a heavy accent told me to come look and gave me an address. I enlisted the aid of a pal to drive me up there, and on the way to the stated address I saw a sweet ride out of the corner of my eye: a pearly white Mercedes. I said to my friend: ‘If that car was available, that would be the car for me.” Drove up stated driveway only to find that the advertised car was not there.
While trying to decide what to do next, I noticed a man getting out of the Mercedes and heading our way: He said, “This gal is my hair cutter, and I’m the one who put the ad in Craigslist for her. She just sold the car. I’m sorry.” I said that was too bad because I really needed a good and affordable car. He looked at me, in a way that I could tell was assessing the situation and also my character, and then said, “See that Mercedes over there? I just rebuilt the engine and as much as I love that car, I am willing to sell it to you if you want.” We discussed, and while my pal looked on in wonder, we went to a nearby cafe and made the deal. He said: “Drive this car for a month or two, and if it doesn’t suit you, you can return it. If you like it though, it's yours for $1800.”
And thus Pearl 190 came to my life. A sweetheart of a ride, that 1988 Mercedes 190E gave us years of driving pleasure.
More magical tools:
Trust in divine timing. Nature tells us that there is a time and a season for everything. At winter, everything is in rest and hold mode; spring is when life springs to life; summer is the time for growth and nurturing and harvesting seasonal offerings; followed by fall’s continued harvest and preparation for winter again.
Magicians also know how to use timing in their acts: it's a choreographed show of exact timing.
Our adventures in home creation has been adventures in trusting the divine timing of Spirit’s magic. There were times when I despaired not finding a home for us…and especially after my honey’s medical adventures. “Hooboy. What can we afford?” And: “Where shall I plant us in order to support his healing?"
Those were the times I had to trust that divine timing was in action, and that Spirit knew the contents of my heart through hearing my stated intention.
2 years ago, I found our current home through that trust. After our landlady increased the rent of the house I loved by an un-affordable amount, I frantically ran around and networked up a storm. Yet, I intuitively knew that our perfect home was out there…but wasn’t ready for us yet. And so it was that I moved us into a temporary basement apartment for 2 months, so that we could wait for that home right in the nick of time.
And so it also is with our current situation: The home we are close to moving into wasn’t near ready to receive us until now: It’s only been recently renovated. More on that in a bit, but first a few other magical tools:
Find the helpers who will support the vision.
Throughout this 7 year journey of finding a long term home, there have been helpers and guides and friends who’ve made affirmative comments: “I see it coming to you.” “Trust that your perfect home is waiting for you.” “You are fully supported.” “You will find the perfect home. There will be no compromising any of your intentions or dreams.” “You’re going to receive exactly what you want.” and so forth….
Online friends, and personal friends, and church friends (I can’t thank the prayer groups enough!)…the helpers were plenty. And they helped in other ways too: Moving help, searching help, a kind word, a meal, a shoulder to cry on, and eventually help in the form of a generous offer by one of my Zumba Gold students to come live in the lovely 2 bedroom apartment we currently reside in. And now, the current helper is in the form of a generous family member who is making a long-term home possible.
So the situation has been that all of the recent homes have been temporary rentals, and therefore I could not count on them to be available as the home for the duration of our lifetimes. Our housemate would like to sell her home in the near future. She has every right to do so, and I fully support her intent, but it hasn’t been easy to remain upbeat and trusting. Nope. Adding to my stress has been recent health challenges for my honey, and so my thoughts have been occupied by some fearful messages mixed in with the loving ones. Which brings me to the importance of two more tools:
Practice and Affirmations
A magician or an artist or a craftsperson practices practices practices his or her art in order to perfect it. Trusting Spirit is a practice. It takes dedication. It takes faith in the process— especially when the process seems bogged down.
I used the magic of my almost daily forest walks to process what I feared, in order to clear my mind of those fears. Plus the forest was constantly gifting me with signs, especially in the animal world. While I went through a rough patch of feeling hopeless about finding home, owls showed up all over the place; hoots and feathers and sightings. Owl medicine showed me that Spirit was there, hunting away…even in the dark. Most recently, as things have been ramping up, I’ve seen woodpeckers all over the place. They remind me: "You will be fed. You will find home through your diligence."
Their affirmative sightings confirmed what I intuitively knew, because what is affirmed gets confirmed. So pay attention to affirmative messages, and use affirmations such as what my friends have consistently stated to me: “Your perfect home is waiting for you.”
Another tool: Embrace the unknown. Spirit’s magic is often in mystery. And there are times when what will turn the trick or create the gift is a complete and utter unknown until…it shows up and is known. Spirit reveals all in perfect divine timing—remember? And so it is that what I hadn’t known was this: My brother in law, Jim’s brother, had been worried about us and our housing situation.
He stated so a few weeks ago, over a spontaneous dinner I called together while Jim and I were in his neck o' the woods. He asked: “So how is the house hunt coming along?” I said that I was doing my best to stay positive and had been networking and even placed our names on affordable housing lists. And then he revealed the unknown missing link to our home creation: “Here’s what I want to do. I want to buy a house as an investment, and in the community you choose to live in, and have you two live in it.”
And voila! An adventure ensued involving seeing the “wrong” houses and the “almost” houses and finally giving in to trusting Spirit’s magic-in-action through the person of brother in law John. Which brings me to the most important tool in creating magic: Let go and let God. I mean, all along, God has known what we needed and what we intended. All along, God gave us what was in our highest and best interest.
So I let go to that, and with gratitude. I am so grateful to be a spiritual being practicing in this human form. I am so grateful to accept my good. And I am so grateful to share this good with you all.
Our new and true home awaits—here, in the community I love. I know that now.
And so it is.