One night, I was having one of those gray nights of the soul. It wasn’t that dark, but I wasn’t feeling connected to spirit or humanity at all. I was feeling wrong for some reason. I was examining my life and the choices I had made to get to where I was in the present. As I was going to sleep, I prayed. “Please show me how I serve. I know that the point is to bring love into all situations, but Good Guiness, how I fail most of the time. How can I know that what I do comes from a place of love? That it extended love itself? How do I serve humanity, what else should I be doing? Shouldn’t I be feeling more fulfilled?” And then I went to sleep.
The next morning, I was working in my home office when my cell phone started to ring downstairs. As I was running to pick it up, the thought came to me that someone died. By the time I found my phone, the call had gone to voice mail. I looked at the caller ID, and saw it was my long time friend Erika. I’ve known Erika since I was about 18. We were roommates right out of school, we worked together, vacationed together, we wreaked havoc on the streets of Chicago, we supported each other through bad relationships, and we were in one another’s weddings. We only talk about once a year now, but it’s always as if no time had lapsed at all.
“Oh no, I hope it wasn’t George.” I thought. George was her ex-husband who had been a regular part of my circle of friends when I lived in Chicago. The phone bleeped, indicating that a message was left. I listened to it holding my breath. I was relieved. There was no message of death. She sounded happy. She just said that she dreamed about me that night, and that I should call her right away. So I called her right away.
I told her it was great to hear from her and asked her how she was doing. She said that she was doing well, and told me that she had some sad news, – her mother had just passed. We spoke for a while about how much her mom had suffered in life, and how her illness had progressed, when she asked me a strange question.
“Did you cut your hair short since I last saw you?” I had indeed cut about a foot’s length of hair off and was now wearing a short bob.
“Yes” I said.
“Is it cut like a bob?”
“Yup, how’d you know?”
“You were here last night.” She said. I got goose bumps.
“What do you mean?”
She explained that she had dreamed that I was with her, holding her hand and helping her as she helped her mother’s spirit pass to it’s next reality. She was emphatic that it was a real experience, that the dream was so real. She kept saying believe me, you were really here.
I believed her. And that made me extremely happy. Not only is it something I would have been willing and happy to do, but I realized that that is how I serve those I love. Being with someone, supporting them and sharing important experiences is how I serve, how we serve one another. This is how we love. My prayer had been answered by a phone call. I had been suspecting that the answer would be “You serve through your art.” or “…your writing.” I was so happy to hear that I serve just by my intention to serve in a great and mysterious way. And how cool is it to be able to do that in your sleep? My suspicion is that we all do. Erika gave me a miracle while I gave her one. The miracle brought more love both to both of us.
Miracles are a way of demonstrating that it’s as awesome to give as to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver. How perfect is that?