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  1. My true identity is so secure, so lofty, sinless, glorious and great, wholly beneficent and free from guilt that Heaven looks to It to give it light.  It lights the world as well.  It is the gift my Father gave to me; the one as well I give the world.  There is no gift but This that can be either given or received.  This is reality and only This.  This is illusion’s end.  It is the truth.
  2. My Name, O Father, still is known to You.  I have forgotten it, and do not know where I am going, who I am, or what it is I do.  Remind me, Father, now, for I am weary of the world I see.  Reveal what You would have me see instead. 
credit: http://www.dying.lovetoknow.com

My sister texted me this morning, recalling the 50 year anniversary since our earthly father died.  You were only ten, she noted.  As if I needed to be reminded!  His death filled me with an anguish and grief that never properly processed, addressed, or otherwise noted left me lost, dazed, confused – the world no longer seemed real to me and has never seemed real since. Hence my devotion to a Course which teaches that a world where the ones you love can be snatched away on a whim of heart failure, car accidents, child custody battles cannot the real world be.  Hallelujah.

Timely then, today’s lesson – God is my Father, and He loves me!  My earthly father gave me such love, tenderness, joy, and sense of belonging that to this day – half a century later – his memory shines bright as the Golden Rays in my mind.  He was a handsome fellow in his youth. Dad and Mom look like movie stars, my young self marveled, staring in wonder at the old black and white photos of them.  Where did that couple go?  Because by the time I came into being, mother close to forty and father three years older – they were going gray, with comfortable paunches, age spots, and wrinkles – still a loving and lovely couple, but definitely showing their years.  Coming along behind the other three kids, I was an aunt at age five; my mom and dad became doting Grandpa and Mam-maw while my status in the family was shared with a delightful niece and adorable nephew.  So much love and happiness. 

And then one day we were ambushed.  The grandkids were snatched away – their mother determining that she wanted them after all.  She had brought backup. Now it would be called a crime – barging into our house unannounced, grabbing the screaming kids, kicking my mother to the floor, bruising my father who tried to protect her.  It was only a matter of weeks when dad’s heart failed. 

Any sense of love, belonging, and security in our family and home vanished.  Attempts to find solace were met with a mixed bag of mockery, scolding, and encouragement to be a big girl and not cry.  Nobody meant me any harm.  They were dealing with their own grief and daily demands.  Other things happened, as if that one awful event had triggered an avalanche of disasters.

 If it had not been for Linda, another hurt, grieving, emotionally abandoned little girl, who listened and understood, my heart, too, would have failed me.  Chapter 1:18 of the Course describes a miracle as the maximal service one can render to another.  A miracle, Jesus told Helen, is a way of loving another as yourself.  It is recognizing your own and another’s worth simultaneously.  That’s what the child Linda did.  She offered me our joint worth, and we survived those things we find almost unbearable to recall.

It occurred to me yesterday when a brother was telling me about the loss of his father, how blessed we are, those of us who experience, at such a tender age, the unreality of the world and its chancy support systems of special relationships.  We flail and flounder, blame and accuse, grow sad, bitter, and resentful – yes, but in the end, we find it far easier to give up the unreal world for the real one.  We know there must be a better way!  And when we find it, it is with our whole hearts we can pray: 

My Self, O Father, is still known to You.  I have lost it and do not know who I am or what I am or where I am going.  Remind me, Father, now, for I am so weary of the world I see and all the mistakes I make.  Reveal the truth to me and show me what You would have me see instead.