I had sent a
midlife-crisis-desperate S.O.S. to GraIS [Gracious Infinite Spirit]
the day before this occurrence in the form of a letter. It’s been a
long and difficult haul to get two websites that are the passion of my
life up and running, and
RJ [my landlord] especially has been far beyond the call of kindness in supporting this – with absolutely no money in sight
for more than a year. I am desperately desperate to get him repaid / caught up and to reclaim a life again.
So I was asking, if this is not to be, then I must know, and if not this, then what?
I totally surrender!! Just HELP!!! And,
A SIGN, TODAY—PLEASE!!
After printing this
plea out to read and meditate on in order to take as deeply into my being
and as attentively as I could, I made some breakfast and did a rare thing: I sat down at the kitchen table to eat it, intending to begin reading / re-reading the
letter till it caught fire inside in a connecting way. Before starting that, a piece of junk mail I hadn’t quite gotten to the trash caught my eye. It was from
the 'xx Ford' dealership [I will not disclose its name here.] merely a couple of blocks
away and had something about prizes on it. You could win $2000, $1500, or an oil change.
I mused how great it would be to get just an oil change, which I badly needed.
And with hardly any more thought than that, I raked a knife over the ‘scratch’ square to see if anything came up.
It said I had won $2000!!
My first thought was, yeah, right; I was almost disappointed it wasn’t the oil change, because I could more easily believe [!] that was possible than the top prize.
But kind of like a fire started with damp scraps, though slow to start, it will eventually thrive into a
blaze if you want it enough, I began to think, well, I had asked for A SIGN. . and this was very unusual, almost unique, the idea of my looking for, much less winning something like this . . maybe this was it!
Maybe this was even a way to begin [speaking of miracles!!!] to get some
REAL money to RJ! I mean, I had surrendered, I was looking for feedback that I had been heard, that GraIS is here for us as directly as we are willing to trust or be open to that.
I got excited.
I ran it up to RJ’s place upstairs and showed him the advert with the 3 little symbols uncovered, indicating I had won $2000. He essentially had my original reaction [we’re both thinking along the lines of,
'xx Ford', a real hustler for his car business -- yeah, right]. RJ said, maybe it would get me a photo of
'xx' or something. Well, there was only one way to find out.
After dropping a friend
at a doctor's office, off I went to 'xx Ford'. It was about 3 pm on a Tuesday, and the place was
packed! I noticed several others clutching adverts like mine, and immediately gave up any expectations, but was open even so.
I tried to get someone to tell me if this was ‘for real’, or to show them that mine had the $2000 prize in the scratch box, vaguely thinking if it’s real, there can only be a few who got the top prize,
and so most of these other folks must be there for the oil change
[?]. Hmm, but on a Tuesday at 3 pm?? Anyway, I would know immediately from their face a lot about how
genuine this might be or not. Already, I had decided just to be grateful for GraIS giving me the lift of a message that said, ‘you are a winner!’ ; ‘top prize’!
I saw a kindly, older woman come up to the desk, who obviously worked there, who was just looking at the milling crowd.
already been directed to ‘go sit over there and someone will be with you shortly,’ but I was anxious because I had left my friend and she did not know I was on this
errand. Her visit was not to be a long one, and I really needed to get back as quickly as I could.
So I approached this woman, who did not seem prepared to answer my question directly, like this was not her thing.
At that instant, almost as if to provide rescue for her and as one of the friendly hosts for the ‘party’ here, this very pleasant man almost materialized at my elbow, introducing both of them by name, acknowledging the woman as a good friend and business confidante, and then gently took me out of her way, and quickly answered my direct question as to whether this was genuine or not, as I showed him the scratch box on the form.
He smiled a grim smile, and nodding to the crowd of far more people than the staff could immediately take care of, he said everyone won the same thing, the top prize!
In essence this man who had introduced himself as Bill Jones said with obvious displeasure that this whole thing was definitely not an appropriate way to improve business, because it WAS a gimmick just to get people in the door, people who came in with NO intention to buy a car – they came in for their prize.
I admired his wonderful forthrightness in telling me this rather than use it instantly to try to sell me a car.
I ruefully admitted [in the Ford universe of 'xx'] that mine was a Mitsubishi, which I had even parked across the street so it wouldn’t be on the car lot of the Ford fiefdom.
Bill told me he had three bosses: God, Jesus, and his wife, and 'xx'
was not among them. He had a very low opinion of gimmicks like this.
Also he said with refreshing sincerity that my type of car is a great one!
[Wow, I thought, any way you slice this, it is not going to be your usual experience.]
BUT, he quickly assured me, the prize deal was not entirely false in what it offered, and in fact the prize was real and attainable [but not in the form I had first expected, cold cash].
First, he traded in my mailer for not one but TWO prize certificates, each worth $1000 – on the internet.
He sat me down and assured me I would easily be able to follow the instructions and the prizes really were there to be gotten, but I would have to go on the internet to get
them. Expediently, but with obvious kindness and regard, Bill explained how I would go to a particular site where I would be able to shop for $2000-worth of merchandise.
I would have up to a year to claim the prize. There was a small price to pay -- I would have to pay shipping/handling fees, but the prizes are REAL.
[If you figure a company can spend thousands, even millions of dollars for advertising, and it must just feel like you fork over all that money to the media with not much more than a hope or prayer, say, for a single page in a newspaper that runs a day or few days, or for a 15-second spot on prime TV, and then all you can do is hope it gets you customers.
But this prize thing is different in several ways that could be very interesting, if not fun for a company to use.
It gets people right into your door, and they are excited to be there; you give them something of genuine worth, even if it’s not what they had expected.
If you do it well, at the very least you may win over a few new loyal customers, you get the power of a lot of fun, excitement, gratitude—if you don’t misuse it by trying to pressure them into something they are not prepared to consider, such as spending money they are not contemplating spending or they may not even have.
You hope they remember you with fondness and think later to come back, and it was a lot more fun than putting a check in the mail every month to a big PR company or media mogul.]
So Bill was very clear about this.
His intent was purely to diffuse any negativity or confusion or doubt about this prize business and then to tell me exactly what I needed to do to claim the prize, as well as assure me that it was indeed there to be gotten.
This man was congenial, genuine, and he gently but fully focused on his mission for the moment.
Not the slightest hint of any other possible agenda, such as maybe win anyone over for buying a car in the future.
Also, his manner more than his words spoke of his clear integrity and his spirit, and not so much in the words themselves as in the way he conveyed them, he expressed this spiritual side.
In fact, at one point, so impressed was I with this likely ‘innocent’ spiritual emissary [if he but knew . . he most likely did not, of course; but in any case Spirit did!!], I asked for his business card.
He looked in his wallet but he had only one. [.. I was just wondering if he actually gave me this card.
Looking in my purse I found he had. Only, interestingly, it had another person’s name on it – “David Johnson, Used Car Manager” – which was crossed out, and Bill had penned his name over it.
Funny as this sounds, I actually just called the company to see if he really works there!! It was such a full-blown spiritual adventure, I just wondered how grounded it was in the workaday world.
And yes, his name was instantly recognized by the operator as an employee there.
Sigh, sometimes we would almost rather have our fantasies!]
Even his name is fascinating to consider, “Bill Jones”:
Starting with ‘Jones’ – one of the two most generic anglicized names in existence.
It’s such a common name, it’s almost a symbolic synonym for humanity. ‘I am with you . . I am you’ . . [or] I am you in another body.’
Spirit as Friend, co-creator, approachable, even genial, totally with you in the timeless now, fully with you in the intent of the moment, so accessible,
comfortable / comforting, ‘safe’. That to me begins to describe a sense of the sacred familiar as g-d, as the Beloved Friend, such as the Quakers and the Sufis might cherish.
‘Bill’ – thinking of Dad whose name is ‘Bill’.
If Dad could do this over, knowing what he knows now in spirit, I can imagine his wishing he could change some things, such as even make things better between us.
At this point he knows my whole life seemed to become invested in ‘winning’ [!] his love and approval and regard for me as a person and as someone dear to him, and all the woundedness that went with this not being our experience at all.
I know he also must have regrets about this. And aside from this, a reflection of his own terrible wounding as a kid, and whatever karma we had each brought in with us to deal with in this lifetime, many people, including myself, admired Dad for many outstanding qualities: his integrity as a business person, his brilliant mind.
Whether you agreed or disagreed, as long as it was not something with an emotional pitch for him that was unbalancing, you knew he really
thought through his ideas – and visions.
I am remembering something Mom said once, or maybe
my brother Chip, that he could build up or envision an architectural schemata with all its complexities in his head and then lay it out on paper.
I rarely agreed with his philosophy [e.g., politics – he, much to the right / I, the opposite]; he was a terrific and totally committed provider for his family; he had a lot of practical wisdom in many areas of interest to him.
If I could have the relationship I missed with him growing up, Bill Jones’ regard and thoughtful manner would be a perfect mirror for what that might have been like.
He was genuine and kind and had not the slightest hidden agendas, either from me or from himself [such as
a wounded personality creating emotional havoc and distortions].
His intention included no emotional undertone of any stripe, other than respect and living perfectly in the moment with me and our shared interest.
I can imagine in spirit my dad being something like this, what that might feel like in and for him and for me as a daughter in the presence of that.
This whole episode and even where it took place reminds me also:
One of my uncles [also passed], who was also close to Dad, worked his entire adult life for
another dealership right next door to 'xx Ford' blocks from where I
Thinking of my dad and his growing-up challenges, not unlike mine, with a father who abused him in ways that were profoundly wounding, and the idea of what it could be like if things had been or were different now, I only just remembered that my grandfather [his dad] also worked for a car dealership, perhaps the same as Uncle
He was even written up in the newspaper for what he was well known for:
his great integrity, honesty, and sincerity in his work [How's that for
a car salesman!]. I can imagine as ‘real’ a collaboration from the Other Side where some kind of connectivity like this might even be a conduit toward healing old family karmic patterns, to reach out to those in body in ways like this.
I can imagine that whatever healing takes place in one person in a karmic or soul group impacts the whole ‘tree’ so-to-speak.
It’s reverberations heal not only forward into time but also backward into countless generations where patterns of destruction or wounding have made a vortex of experience that impacts so many who pass
under its influence through the gateways of birth and death. Also, love and forgiveness from this side similarly must impact all within the karmic perseveration, whether in body here or not.
So many meaningful or metaphorical / symbolic pieces to all this that meld into an experience of instantly responsive and living Spirit Everywhere – past/present/future, physical/nonphysical, blending of beings, such as
Abraham suggested with Esther and Jerry Hicks and their daughter all playing co-incarnational roles in the life of some early statesman of the American States. . .. So, I see Bill Jones as himself, as a conduit [very clear one!] for Spirit’s purposes and responsiveness to my
request. I also see what I enjoy imagining, whether real or not, but healing and nourishing to contemplate even so, as a nominal allusion to ‘Bill’, my dad, as just the kind of person I would have loved to have cherished as a father and friend that he could not be in this life.
I thrill at where this takes me in reference to my grandparents, who were
similarly responsible for the wounded nature of my father that then I and my siblings
inherited, and that they had probably inherited themselves ... back and
back and back. What a great healing experience this has been, even in ways I had not
Like Barbra Streisand sang in Yentl:
“There are moments you remember all your life, there are moments you wait for
and dream of all your life. This is one of those moments.”
The instant I saw this man who seemed to materialize at my elbow, I had this uncanny feeling this would be . . A Moment to remember.
Might have been nothing more than the feeling of wonderment, just before knowing the facts, whether I really had won $2000 or not, and this was the man who was going to tell me, and so things seemed a little more ‘real’ than usual, sort of surreal.
But even after he disclosed the facts, this magical quality remained in my time with him.
If Bill Jones had been a conscious spiritual emissary in body at that moment of our meeting, he could not have possibly done a better job of focused intent and with the clear sense of a mission
and with perfect clarity as to his priorities; this was not about selling cars, but about clarifying for me and others exactly what they had received and what they could do to reap the benefits.
For me within the context of this as a possible Response to my letter to Spirit, he laid it out so succinctly: He gave me not one but TWO winner’s certificates, two opportunities to go online – I have to access their benefits FROM the internet – and to shop for $1000 each, or metaphorically, 1000% supportive of each of the two longtime endeavors I’ve put heart and soul and sooooo much time into without seeing any possible end in sight, such as these successfully up
and running, and in the meantime, me without resources just to pay rent for many months now.
It is / was presented as ‘time sensitive’ – I had asked for “a SIGN, THIS DAY”; and Spirit complied!
This was given to me in a collaborative, immediately responsive [and elegant!] way – Spirit taking me to a very local business, five minutes’ walk from my home – as if Spirit had instantly stepped forward to play a crucial part through the physical to tell me very directly, physically.
I felt this spiritualized intent or integrity so beautifully present in this man who gave me the prize vouchers and explained how to collect the prizes themselves – on the internet!!
[The very idea of my life on the computer and on the internet has been a huge personal question in regards to Steiner’s philosophy – the questionable value of such things, though in many ways unavoidable, if not even necessary in the lives of many of us.]
And up with all this welled a sense of family connectivity and healing across the Great Divide of the physical and the ‘Otherwhere’ as Kurt Leland calls it.
All over, the advert announced it was very time-sensitive; you had to claim your prize fairly immediately, in this case,
within one week. Remember the line, it is [often] given even before you ask?
I had received this advert earlier the same day I originally wrote my desperate plea.
And only chanced to look at it the next day .. Ordinarily, I would
never have bothered even to notice, would have discovered it weeks
or even months later when I was in a cleaning-out-the-junk mood.
Ohhhh, and it was a FORD dealership – I can’t help it, I’m built this way – I’m suddenly thinking of the original marvelous mind behind the Henry-Ford empire, who has in place almost a century later a most admirable grants-giving / charity foundation, who is and whose family/corporate philosophy is amazingly broadminded enough to be supportive to issues like gay rights, and things-parapsychological [I think I got this somewhere].
This was a great friend and collaborator of spirit [literally] with people like Thomas Edison and
Harvey[?] Firestone. I don’t know if they were Masons or what, only that, so the stories go, they were committed to their spiritual path suggestive of things esoteric and metaphysical, an Inside path, such as you’d associate with the Rosicrucians or R. Steiner or even the
original American or British Society for Psychical Research.
I eventually told this story to one of my brothers, many years younger,
who remembers that the owner of this particular Ford dealership and Dad were great friends in his growing-up
years!! I was thunderstruck! This must have been during the time I was long gone from
the nest. In fact, it was such a normal part of his childhood,
Chip was surprised I had no knowledge of it! This even more fully
reinforces my sense of this being an Otherwhere / behind-the-scenes
collaborative effort of great love!
..Not to mention a terrific sense of ingenuity and humor! Imagine
being on the other side with a whole new lease on life, a literally
cosmic perspective , capacities to connect into the web of
LIFE-WRIT-LARGE and to do and be in ways we can hardly imagine, and a
great desire to get through to those on this side of the Mystery to
offer reassurance, help, and love. I sincerely felt this was a
joyous effort of a number of "all my relatives" who wanted to
tell me in no uncertain terms that for them, helping to bridge this GAP
is every bit as compelling and important as it has felt to many of us in
the physical realm.