Today at the cafe, I had just finished my day’s writing – a deep fleshing out of the new online training program I’m developing – when I heard a woman ask, “So you believe in miracles?”
Surprised – cuz, like, how did she know? – I turned. She was dressed all in white – white jeans, a white, nicely fitted stretch tee shirt, white socks. Even her shopping bags – and there were several: from Chico’s, Banana Republic… – were white. Except for her sneakers, which were black; and her straw hat.
She had a warm and welcoming presence – but she wasn’t overly friendly. She gestured to the book I’d left open on my table: A Course in Miracles. “Ohhhh” I said. Then, “Yes, I believe in miracles.”
“And are you a teacher of that course – of miracles?” she asked. Which was a really interesting question, wasn’t it? Especially since the passage I’d been reading in ACIM was all about the characteristics of God’s teachers.
“Yes,” I said.
“And where do you teach?”
“Online,” I said.
“That’s wonderful,” she said. ”So you teach that course?’
“Well, yes, but not exactly. I mean…” stammer stammer. “I use this book – it’s one of many I use – as a jumping off point for my work. But I teach my own material. My own work.”
“Oh,” she smiled. “What’s your work called?”
And because I know that we online teachers are supposed to be ‘branding’ ourselves; and not confusing the reader; and also, that we should choose a title that is about YOU, not about ME – I hesitated to give her a name… not yet. I pointed to the book. ”This material came through a while ago, in the 50s or 60s. It’s a classic spiritual text… this is the material that Marianne Williamson teaches out of.”
“And your work, your class,” she repeated. “What’s it called?” Which was EXACTLY what I was thinking about when she interrupted me. There are several names that feel resonant to me. Soul Caller, Parallel Path – and of course, Sea of Miracles, the title of my book.
So, when she asked again, with all of that swirling in my head – along with my genuine concern that if she asked me: What’s it about? I would have to come up with the ‘elevator speech’ version of this crazy and wild work on the spot – I blurted, “The Soul Caller Training.”
“Good name,” she said, and then, she returned to her lobster salad sandwich.
I glanced at her a few times. She wasn’t reading anything. So I offered her the ACIM book to check out. ”No thank you,” she smiled.
Then, she gathered up her shopping bags and walked toward the parking lot. “Goodbye,” she waved.
I watched her like a hawk.
I have written hundreds – and read thousands – of stories about mysterious strangers who engage with someone, deliver important guidance, information; life-altering advice or life-saving support and then, once their task is complete, they disappear without a trace.
In this story, what would be life-altering wasn’t her words – it would be her presence. If this woman was an embodied angel – and she really could have been – that would be so much fun.
Because I know that these stories are true. I know that angels show up all over the place – why not a little cafe in northern New Jersey? And for that matter, why not for ME?
In the stories that I’ve read, these helpful and mysterious strangers behave in ways that telegraph some kind of ‘difference’ that alerts us that this person is ever so slightly … um… unusual. Perhaps they read someone’s mind; perhaps they say our name, when there is no way they might know our name. Perhaps, as in this story, they are dressed unusually – and they engage us in a discussion that answers a question we need answered.
I wanted to see what would happen. If she was an angel, how would she disappear?
She stopped at her car, a white family van – either Mercedes or Lincoln – loaded her things into the hatchback. Climbed in, and began to back out of her parking spot.
I only glanced away for a second. I swear. I looked down to catch the papers that had fluttered up in a sudden breeze. And of course, when I looked up, her car was gone.
I was left, like all the other people reporting such incidents with both the certainty and the doubt that accompanies such encounters.
- Was she sent to deliver a message or was it a coincidence?
- Had her car disappeared into thin air or had she pulled around a corner and driven out of an exit I could not see?
- Had she been an angel or a nice older woman, interested in life, in the cover of a book she saw on my cafe table?
- If she wasn’t an angel, does our conversation ‘count’?
The answers to all of these questions is the same: Yes.
Anyone can deliver a message from The Divine. The only thing that matters is that we keep asking questions, and listening for the answers.