Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 78 Let Miracles Replace All Grievances
- Perhaps it is not yet quite clear to you that each decision that you make is one between a grievance and a miracle. Each grievance stands like a dark shield of hate before the miracles it would conceal. And as you raise it up before your eyes, you will not see the miracle beyond. Yet all the while, it waits for you in light, but you behold your grievances instead.
- Today we go beyond the grievances, to look upon the miracle instead. We will reverse the way you see by not allowing sight to stop before it sees. We will not wait before the shield of hate but lay it down and gently lift our eyes in silence to behold the Son of God.
- He waits for you behind your grievances, and as you lay them down, he will appear in shining light where each one stood before. For every grievance is a block to sight, and as it lifts, you see the Son of God where he has always been. He stands in light, but you were in the dark. Each grievance made the darkness deeper, and you could not see.
- Today we will attempt to see God’s Son. We will not let ourselves be blind to him; we will not look upon our grievances. So is the seeing of the world reversed, as we look out toward truth, away from fear.
- We will select one person you have used as target for your grievances and lay the grievances aside and look at him. Someone, perhaps, you fear and even hate; someone you think you love who angered you; someone you call a friend, but whom you see as difficult at times or hard to please, demanding, irritating, or untrue to the ideal he should accept as his, according to the role you set for him.
- You know the one to choose; his name has crossed your mind already. He will be the one of whom we ask God’s Son be shown to you. Through seeing him behind the grievances that you have held against him, you will learn that what lay hidden while you saw him not is there in everyone and can be seen. He who was enemy is more than friend when he is freed to take the holy role the Holy Spirit has assigned to him. Let him be savior unto you today. Such is his role in God, your Father’s plan.
- Our longer practice period today will see him in this role. You will attempt to hold him in your mind, first as you now consider him. You will review his faults, the difficulties you have had with him, the pain he caused you, his neglect, and all the little and the larger hurts he gave. You will regard his body with its flaws and better points as well, and you will think of his mistakes and even of his “sins.”
- Then let us ask of Him Who knows this Son of God in his reality and truth, that we may look on him a different way, and see our savior shining in the light of true forgiveness, given unto us. We ask Him in the holy Name of God and of His Son, as holy as Himself: “Let me behold my savior in this one You have appointed as the one for me to ask to lead me to the holy light in which he stands, that I may join with him.”
- The body’s eyes are closed, and as you think of him who grieved you, let your mind be shown the light in him beyond your grievances. What you have asked for cannot be denied. Your savior has been waiting long for this. He would be free and make his freedom yours. The Holy Spirit leans from him to you, seeing no separation in God’s Son. And what you see through Him will free you both.
- Be very quiet now and look upon your shining savior. No dark grievances obscure the sight of him. You have allowed the Holy Spirit to express through him the role God gave Him that you might be saved. God thanks you for these quiet times today in which you laid your images aside and looked upon the miracle of love the Holy Spirit showed you in their place. The world and Heaven join in thanking you, for not one Thought of God but must rejoice as you are saved, and all the world with you.
- We will remember this throughout the day, and take the role assigned to us as part of God’s salvation plan, and not our own. Temptation falls away when we allow each one we meet to save us and refuse to hide his light behind our grievances. To everyone you meet, and to the ones you think of or remember from the past, allow the role of savior to be given, that you may share it with him. For you both, and all the sightless ones as well, we pray: “Let miracles replace all grievances.”
Notes and Personal Application (2019): The name Sue K is the one that crossed my mind today, and at first, I was surprised. I didn’t hold grievances against Sue! However, Holy Spirit asked me to choose Sue and ask Jesus to show Himself to me through her. I will see Jesus behind the grievances that I have held against Sue, and I will learn that what I held against Sue and didn’t see in Sue, the Jesus in Sue, the Child of God in Sue, the Holy Spirit in Sue, is in everyone and can be seen if I see through the eyes of Holy Spirit. When I let go of grievances, I can see Holy Spirit in others and thus be saved. She, who could be my enemy, is now more than a friend because she is freed to take the holy role that Holy Spirit has assigned to her. Let Sue be my savior unto me today. Such is her role in God my Father’s plan.
I will review her faults: She was so cruel to my niece and nephew and would pick them up and throw them against the wall. When my sister Beckie confronted her about it, she refused to back down and show a trace of remorse, but only contempt toward the one who was trying to save her.
She played with my brother and tormented him and used his children against him. She kept Denise and Brian from us and did her part in my Dad’s early death and my own disorder of refusing to get too close to anybody, of losing faith in love. She made me feel so good toward her and told me nice things about myself and then ran back to her previous lover as soon as he got back from the Army and left, not only my brother but all of us. Now she wants to forget all about it. She has never apologized for what she did or admitted it, and now posts all kinds of good parent stuff on Facebook as if she were always such a loving and wonderful person.
She really hurt me as a child, she hurt my family – my brother, my mother and father, my sister. She took them away from us, and she wouldn’t let us see them, and no matter how my mother begged and pleaded, she refused to even give her a glimpse of her beloved grandchildren.
It was awful. I can’t say that losing Denise and Brian like that, those adorable kids whom we loved so much, was not the start of the whole terrible ordeal that happened to my family – my dad’s death; my mom going off the deep end with her visions and own cruelties, my sister losing faith in her own goodness and brilliance, my own despair of life – of being lost and confused, bewildered and conflicted, and at every disadvantage. (As well as boy crazy and searching for love in all the wrong places.)
She was responsible for the blight of my childhood, the tears that my mother cried, the feelings of utter loss of respect, self-worth, and ability to take care of his wife and family that my father experienced! She was responsible for driving my brother from us and hurting him the way she did, turning his own children against him. She cursed us. She took our rightful joy and delight and happiness in those little children who were part of us, who shared our DNA. She stole them from us. She snatched them away, and nothing was ever the same. There was no reason for her to do this. Except for meanness and vengeance and spite, and now I will say:
Let me look upon this situation and this Child of God in a different light, and see our savior shining in the light of true forgiveness, given unto us. I ask the Holy Spirit in the name of God and of His Son, Jesus Christ, as holy as Himself:
Let me see Christ (instead of Anti-Christ) in Sue. You have appointed Sue for me to find the sacred light in which she stands and is, and that I may join with her in becoming full of the Love of God and the Holy Spirit.
I close my eyes, and I think of Sue and how she has grieved me and hurt our whole family, and I ask the Holy Spirit to show me the light within her. Show me the light within Sue and let the grievances be gone, and true forgiveness and humility and grace free us both. Let there be no separation between Sue and me, O Lord. I am reticent now and look upon my shining savior whom I see in Sue. That Sue is saved and forgiven, even as I am saved and forgiven.
Let miracles replace all grievances in my life so that I may see my Savior in those whom I would have not seen with the eyes of the ego. As injuries come up, let me see with the vision of Christ. As grievances are forgiven and let go, let me see with the Holy Spirit, the love of God, the way of my salvation and the salvation of the world. In Jesus name. Amen.
This more extended practice period left me a bit shaken. I had had no idea that these grievances toward Sue had been hiding in my subconscious all these years. I had no idea the depth of not only the pain she had seemed to cause but that the pain and torment of it, the memory of it, was still corrupting my love and trust in God and in other people. In all honesty, bringing it up like this did not feel very good. Bringing it to the light humbled me. I had thought I was a loving and forgiving person. I was proud that Sue was my friend on Facebook; that I had been a big enough person to let bygones be bygones and hold nothing against her. But here in my practice, I found that my ego had tricked me into believing that I had forgiven her. In the dark, hidden passageways of my mind, I was still holding her responsible for blighting my childhood, for damaging my family, for stealing our salvation from us.
Instead of feeling relieved, the grievances became real to me, and I had a terrific struggle in letting go of the reason for my loss of love and respect for my family, my community, indeed for all humanity. In other words, my ego had finally found the anti-Christ. I could project all of my faithlessness upon this one who had traumatized my childhood, someone outside the family, someone who had cursed us.
I struggled with this all day long. “Give it to me,” Holy Spirit told me, each time I would come up with a new twist on the old, worn-out tale. “Give it to me, and I will transform it into something useful.” I was astonished by how much my mind resisted giving up its own darkness. I had this insane belief that by holding on to my grievance, it would punish the one who had cursed us and protect me from ever letting someone curse us in that way again.
Throughout the day, when the grievances would start chanting the song of their people, I chose to sing the song of truth: “Let miracles replace all grievances.”
Notes and Personal Application (2020): While still sipping my first cup of coffee and before our devotions this morning, I asked James if he wanted to complete the daily lessons in the Course. They have been hard for him to understand, and he has had some personal gripes with them, and here’s the thing – I asked James to do the lessons with me this year to get his honest appraisal of the spiritual truth presented in A Course in Miracles. I feel that it is as truthful as something can get here in the world and that its message of love and forgiveness is the only thing that will save us. I have come to know Jesus through the Course and believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to me and has taught me useful, practical, and eternal concepts that I had never been able to quite grasp before. However, I also know the mind’s capacity for being deceived, for deceiving itself, and how the ego will even use our spiritual paths to keep us bound.
I so value the opinions and viewpoints of James, with his more secular, scientific background. If the lessons make sense to him, if they ring true to him, then I feel safe. When he has a problem with the lessons, I see them from his viewpoint and begin to question them as well. If they are true, they will stand to reason, to challenge, to experimentation. If they are not true, then who wants to bother with yet another rickety, untrustworthy path to salvation anyway?
James wants to continue because, he said, even though he has gripes with what the lessons teach, he believes that they are right. And here’s the thing – it only stands to reason that we are going to have problems with the teachings because it makes our ego sick to think of giving up its hold upon our mind.
So we said our prayers, and I shared the lesson and last year’s application notes. James snorted with amazement at what I wrote. He even gave a chuckle. Yesterday when last year’s notes listed grievances I had against him, he had not been so merry! It is always so much easier for us to abstract when it is not our own ego under attack, right?
Still, it gave us so much to discuss. The person who came to his mind was his father. His father had been a violent alcoholic who had physically, verbally, and emotionally abused his whole family throughout James’ childhood. Although, by the time I came into the picture, he was only a frail, harmless, crippled version of the ruthless monster who had ruined every relationship he had ever had with his selfishness, brutality, and suspicious nature.
James has given his grievances over and over to Holy Spirit. Just as the dirt on our floors needs to be swept up daily and emptied into the bin, it would seem those forgiven grievances return to corrupt our minds even after we have brought them to Holy Spirit. It would be tempting to think that it would be easier to just hang on to them – hug them up, let them protect us, but we both know how unhealthy this would be, so we keep sweeping them up and giving them to Holy Spirit to transform into the beautiful ring of forgiveness.
It feels like work! It takes effort to be vigilant. It takes vigilance to collect our grievances daily and give them over to Holy Spirit to transform into miracles. It seems more natural to let them sink into the corners, crevices, and floorboards of our minds, creating havens for germs and bugs to propagate.
Today when I read the grievances I had toward my first sister-in-law, I remembered how much I loved her. She was petite and pretty; she was fun; she had the energy of a fireball! She was the first one in my family to tell me that I was smart and beautiful and that once I got rid of my baby fat, I would be a downright knock-out, is what she said. Can you imagine what music that was to my ears as a chubby, ill-dressed youngster, the butt of family jokes?
As a 61-year old grandmother who has added her share of transgressions and misdeeds to the ongoing drama we call life here on earth, I only condemn myself when I condemn Sue. The only smart move is to take those grievances to Holy Spirit and ask for a miracle. Since I am not relying on myself to forgive her, I can only accept the forgiveness I need from God and sharing it with her. Thus we are jointly forgiven, and the ego has no more right to its hold upon my mind. I chose something else. I chose the miracle. Again and again and again, I accept God’s forgiveness and offer it to those who offend me. My former enemies become Christ instead of the anti-Christ in my mind. My grievances have been turned into forgiveness, which reflects God’s love for both of us. This is the way to Christ. This is the way back to God.
Be quick to tell yourself, every time you are tempted to build a case against another: “I will not trade miracles for grievances. I want only what belongs to me. God has established miracles as my right.” Ask God for forgiveness, accept it, and share it with those who have offended you and go with Love. Eternity awaits!
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 78 Let miracles replace…Circle of Atonement, Complete and Annotated Edition (2017). pp. 1086-1088.