This "God Sending" was received twelve years ago, and since twelve is a number that represents completion (or so I'm told), it seems timely to share it now. The image above is a wood carving by my friend Claudia Wood Rahm, who created a series she calls Angelic Folk, of which this is one. I think it's a perfect fit with what I was revealed to me. What think you? Here goes:
I’m soaking in a hot bathtub upon the “orders” of my eight-year-old son, Ned, who had insisted a bath would make me feel better. It had been scary for him lately, coming home to a dark house, only to find me lying flat on my back with a virus that had turned my whole world whirly. It had been scary for me too, and also for my husband, who seemed now to realize what it was I did all day (because, for the past few days, I hadn’t).
In college, we used to laugh about having the whirlybeds after drinking and partying all night long. This was exactly like the whirlybeds, minus the party. I remember back to my childhood, when we used to stop at Ginger’s after school where, quite often, we would find her mother sleeping, sprawled out on the living room couch. It never occurred to us that she was passed out, indelibly drunk. Had it been any different for Ned since this debilitation took hold of me?
It’s amazing how little you can do when the whole room is spinning, even with your eyes shut tight. The steaming bubble bath in which I lie is scented -- a pasture of white speaking softly: prickle! speckle! snap! I submerge into the foamy layer, then underneath where all sounds are mute. Melting, now limp as a heap of cooked noodles sliding into service, I realized I am exhausted. This is Raggedy Ann we have here -- way past bone tired. I’m talking no bones. No bones at all.
I’m exhausted, having spent the past two days vomiting sadness -- a sadness I didn’t even know I had -- sadness that had tied me in knots most of my life, sadness from seeing a problem, speaking it, and watching it be completely ignored. “Maybe if I repeat myself,” I would think to myself, but nada. So I would try adding a bit more drama.... but nada. So I would add some vehemence. some urgency -- still nada. Then I’d try saying it another way... use an illustration... say it louder. But nada.
The next day I was worthless, feeling as though my head was full of rocks. I was dizzy -- too much getting up and down -- until, finally, I just had to admit I was exhausted and put myself to bed. It was all right, because it’s Martin Luther King Day, so Ned could play with friends outside. Off he goes -- coming back, going out again -- returning, finally, to find me still sprawled out, unmoving.
“I think you need a hot bath, Mommy,” says Ned’s little voice. “I don’t think so, Ned,” I reply. “I don’t think I can get there, I’m so dizzy.” But Ned insists and draws me a bath -- even adding bath bubbles -- which is how I came to be resting in this tub. And I am glad I did. It’s all hush and beauty and peace.
And then I see it: an arch of white above me. Is it a dream? A vision? It is wispy, like a cloud, but nevertheless palpably real. Billowy! A vapor of white! An archway formed above me in the tub. I am inside a feathered cathedral. And unable to deny what I am seeing.
Yet, at the same time, I am unable to believe this could really be. “Wow,” I whisper in a whoosh that comes out of my mouth, “It sure is quiet in here. It is SILENT. It is SAFE.” I listen closely, holding my breath so everything becomes double-hushed. And dimly, I hear it: sounds of celebration. They are having a party in heaven.