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The Answer

by Martha Lucia Espinosa

Many of us can look back in time and pinpoint a crucial moment in our life, an instant when our entire direction shifted. Had events been otherwise, the unfolding of our journey would have been different altogether.

That fateful day with the old woman developed into the girl’s lifelong search for answers to the questions that event elicited, plus all her other queries about Jesus—who he was while he was on Earth some 2,000 years earlier, and why she felt so drawn to him. She also yearned to find others whom she felt were on the same quest and then to share with them. She not only studied gnosis but continued to investigate many sources of esoteric, metaphysical, and psychological learning.

Around the age of 16, she met a man whom she married two years later. He, as an American citizen, was the conduit for her moving to the United States after they wed. She came to his country, grew into womanhood, became a mother, and lived like a regular American citizen herself, yet never did she forget her roots. She was always in search of the answer, which she knew somehow included a different Jesus than the traditional one she also found in this new culture. The American interpretation was a bit kinder, perhaps, yet Jesus was still the same “bookkeeper of sins” from yesteryear and not quite what she was hoping for.

Adventures and misadventures came and went over the next 25 years. During this period, her search never let up. She moved through various spiritual schools of thought, returning eventually to her Christian roots but this time as a born-again Christian. Tears poured down her face on Sunday mornings in church each time she sang, “Open my eyes, Lord. I want to see Jesus, to tell Him I love Him . . .”

She’d continued in her need for answers from God and for more clarity about Jesus himself. She’d accepted him as her savior more than once, but saving her from what? Why did she have to get saved every time she met a new spiritual group? What were this “sin” and “hell” that most churches taught? She wanted to see and to know Jesus and his real relationship to God and all of us, and to share with him this thing that she felt when she really thought about Him in her heart. But she couldn’t describe it in a way that made sense to anyone else.

She yearned to know God and not just know of Him. She longed to experience the Divine and often wondered what it would have been like to live 2,000 years ago, when Jesus walked the earth—to hear the sweet word of God’s love spring from his sacred holy lips, his love permeating her being in his sweet embrace, his presence real and tangible. What would it be like, to look into his loving eyes? Would she see the infinite?

Her eyes began to tear every time she thought like this. She often asked Jesus why he’d left, why he was here just that once. Why couldn’t he come back? She would wash his feet if he did. It would take only one word from him for her to heal—this was her favorite prayer.

After searching and praying for years, she began to think more and more deeply about what it would be like to be with Jesus back then, when he taught his disciples. She read the Bible several times, both in English and Spanish, and began to pray to him directly and to ask for help in hearing him more clearly. She yearned for communion with others who had a different understanding of spiritual matters than what the world presented, and she felt moved to seek more spiritual literature.

Someone at a church had mentioned a book series written by a couple of Christian authors. They were novels that used the story of Revelation as the backdrop for its characters to move through the story of the end of the world, according to their interpretation of this biblical book. She read four of the first five volumes, each of them increasing her unease. In the middle of reading the fifth one, she stopped. A vengeful God, Who would cruelly kill and send His creatures to eternal pain and sorrow in an awful place of His own design, particularly if they happened to be the wrong race and culture (which presumably He had given them), seemed simply irrational.

From where she stood, at age thirtysomething, there was great conflict in traditional Christianity, particularly that which was often called “fundamentalist.” There was a sharp contrast between the God of love Who was professed and the God of vengeance Who was hailed and sometimes blamed for all of humanity’s woes and made accountable for righteous evils perpetrated by some groups upon others, by many people upon many others.

She found solace and refuge in newer non-Christian, yet deeply spiritual books while keeping up her search. On this new quest, she had increasingly telling experiences that indicated she was approaching something new that was not to be feared, that was completely benign. For example, on a plane ride she was reading a book from a new author who assured readers that he was conversing with God. The passenger next to her noticed the title of the book and asked her what she might be searching for. A perfect stranger was asking her the deepest question of her life!

She replied that she was looking for the truth. He politely asked if he could offer her a gift and gave her an audiocassette. Coincidentally, her hotel room that night just happened to be furnished with a tape player, which never happens. She took this unusual furnishing to mean she should go ahead and listen to the material, and so she did.

It turned out to be a recording from a retired Catholic priest who was introducing his new series of novels that explored the adventures of a modern-day, wandering Jesus, now called Joshua. What he might be like; how he might talk, dress, act, and relate to others; what he might do to right all the wrongs that everyone is so painfully aware of, yet are accustomed to; and the changes that people experience as he enters a town and stays a little while before moving on to the next one.

She bought and read every one of the books in the Joshua series and sometimes fantasized about meeting the hero herself, all the while still reading the work of the man who was talking with God—the author of the book she’d been reading on the plane.

She decided to attend a seminar led by this “conversations” author in an attempt to learn his technique and to reach out and try to have her very own dialogue with God. Sure enough, in the middle of an exercise at this event, she decided to try and communicate with Him in the form of Jesus. She asked, Why did you leave us here in this mess and all this suffering? Why did you come here with your message of love just to leave again?

The answer came undeniably fast, clear, and to the point. Her hand wrote I NEVER LEFT, as if by a will that wasn’t her own. The words came in all uppercase, which she’d never used as a handwriting style before. She felt in her heart that she’d heard from him, and it seemed as though there was nothing more to write. She waited, but nothing came. That inspired statement was unlike any of her thoughts. It was also quite releasing and imbued with a unique sense of comfort, elicited by the thought itself from within her being. It soothed her immediately, offering her a deep calm and contentment that she’d never felt before.

Sure that she’d heard Jesus reply, she talked to the seminar leader, the well-known author of the conversations books. She told him that as much as she loved his work, she felt that there was no Jesus in his material. She needed Jesus in her life, but not the traditional one of most religions.

The author graciously suggested that perhaps she was ready for a new guide and pointed her toward something called A Course in Miracles (ACIM), published by the Foundation for Inner Peace but with no named author. He also recommended other books that had been written about this Course, as did other seminar attendees with whom she’d shared her concern.

As if by Divine coincidence, one of the people she met loaned her a book about forgiveness, and it was based on A Course in Miracles. She proceeded to read it, and then went through a couple more volumes by other authors who wrote about this subject. The more she read, the more she realized that she needed to go to the source, The Course itself, as it’s known to its reader-students.

As soon as she returned home from the seminar, she bought ACIM. It looked thick, but she was undeterred and began to read in earnest. It contained over 600 pages of Text material, a Workbook for students with 365 lessons for a training program, and a Manual for teachers—more than 1,200 pages. It read quite beautifully, flowed easily, and the more she got into it, the more she noticed that it was mostly written in Shakespearian blank verse, or iambic pentameter. She recognized the style and felt the rhythm in the writing.

It simply filled her with delight. She heard a voice speaking into her heart and mind ever so gently, and slowly walking her through so many points that clarified his being, as well as hers. So crystal clear and so enthralling was the voice that she couldn’t stop studying the material for weeks, then months, and finally a few years. Eventually the book itself unveiled what she suspected: This inner speaker not only claimed to be the voice of Jesus, but its loving authority was, in fact, undeniably his.

Studying The Course and learning to apply its teaching became her passion. She practiced the lessons in the Workbook and began to experience a world of shifting emotions both within her and in her outer world.

Jesus really lives, she thought, as she realized that she’d found the answer. God is real; God is true. His love is perfect. His justice is perfect, and so is His creation. We were the ones who chose not to listen to His quiet whisper of love that sings eternally into our deafened ears, forever patient and kind until we choose to listen and return home to Him as prodigal children. He isn’t responsible for the world we made. God can’t be cruel, for He is perfect Love and fully accessible, no matter what.

It was the answer to the more than 25-year-old prayer she still carried in her heart for the little old lady she’d cared for as a young girl and for all those whom she represented: the poor, the abused, and the neglected. When she’d immigrated to this great new nation of America, she’d found a new kind of society, and her people had become the lowest echelon in it. They were unprotected, underpaid, and overworked, seen as a threat while toiling hard for mere survival. They were the ones on whose behalf she’d been clamoring. She needed to bring the answer back to them to end their suffering. God had made Himself known to her in direct answer to her prayer. She remembered now how she had prayed then: I want to know You, God, to know Your Justice. The world doesn’t make sense. I love you and know that you cherish me, but I need your help in learning to see this.

This had been her prayer all along. Sometimes it had been silent, and sometimes cried aloud when life got to be just too much to bear.

The following excerpt is taken from the book Spoken Miracles, by Martha Lucia Espinosa. It is published by Hay House (June 2007) and available at all bookstores or online at: www.hayhouse.com

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