Greetings, friends. In my last November 8 post Is There A Spirit Realm…, I gave an example of my having received help from Spirit within seconds after I had asked. The surrounding circumstances made it difficult to explain this incident in nonspiritual, conventional terms. But sometimes I receive help from Spirit even when I am not aware that I have asked for it. That is, the help comes, not as a result of prayer, but as a result of my needing help in doing something which Spirit deems is worthy of help. I have had many experiences in which agents of God, such as angels or even other people, have given me help when I am helping others, even when I was not aware of having asked for help. These experiences, at least the ones that I notice, typically occur when I am helping others under difficult circumstances. It is therefore my belief that God will help you do what God wants you to do, even if it is very difficult. I am sure that there are many occasions in which I receive such help without having noticed its source. When the help is received in a way that is easily explained in conventional nonspiritual terms, we tend to do so, as would have been the case on the occasion described in my last post, in which I found a pencil immediately after I had prayed for it. As I previously noted, had I not found the pencil immediately after uttering my prayer, I would have found it easier to attribute my find to good fortune, coincidence, or the ease with which pencils are found on college campuses.
Now let me recount an experience, one of many, in which I received help, not as a result of an explicit prayer, but in the context of my helping others, doing what most of us have been taught is “the right thing to do,” that which the God Who Is Love wants us to do. This was an experience which I do not believe is well explained without recognition of the role that Spirit played. At that time, I was working full time at the University of North Alabama in Florence while my mother was living alone some 130 miles away near Memphis. She was over 80 years old and could not drive. My father had passed away. She had no living relatives nearby. Her health was deteriorating. Yet she enjoyed living in her own home and did not want to move closer to me despite having to depend on neighbors to take her to doctors’ appointments or even to the grocery. She needed my help but I found the 130 mile drive too long to make every week. Several years later, when her health problems became too severe, I did in fact move her, first into a house of her own in Florence, then finally into my own home, though she made those moves very reluctantly. By that time, my then wife (now deceased) had become unable to take care of herself and eventually needed my fulltime attention. In short, my mother needed my help; I gave it, but it was under very difficult circumstances.
One summer while my mother was still living 130 miles away, I had taken three days to visit her before returning to my work in Florence. As I was leaving to return to my own home, she mentioned that her vacuum cleaner was broken and that her neighbor was unable to fix it. I was in a hurry to start my drive before the streets became clogged with evening traffic but my conscience would not let me leave. Reluctantly, I sat down on the floor and dismantled the vacuum. I discovered that it would be a very simple fix. If only I could find a replacement for the broken drive belt. Maybe I had time to fix it and still get away to beat the 5:00 p.m. traffic. I wrote down the very long part number and set out to find a new belt.
First, I drove to a nearby appliance store. No belt. They recommended a second store farther away. No belt. The clerk at the second store offered the address of a third store farther west, toward the center of the city. I was getting farther and farther away from my mother’s home, driving slower and slower through the heavy city traffic. It was now clear that I would be driving to my own home much later at night than I preferred. The third appliance store did not have it. I was on the verge of giving up but I would ask one more time: Did the clerk at this third store know of another that might have this belt? I shared my frustration with the clerk. Each store had some vacuum cleaner belts in stock, but not the one I needed. The clerk was sympathetic but encouraging; there is another store that has a good stock and they should have it. It was another four miles into the congested city but I decided to try this one more time. Arriving at the fourth store very frustrated, I asked the clerk where the vacuum cleaner belts were located. She directed me to a specific aisle and there I saw a very large display of belts and other related parts. I was encouraged and began comparing my part number to those on the numerous packages of belts on display. None of the numbers matched.
I gave up. It was getting late. The part was obviously not one that is regularly stocked by any store I could find. I would look no more. I walked to the end of the vacuum parts aisle, turned right and walked several aisles down. Then I stopped, I had supposed, just to rest. I was now out of the appliance section. There was a stack of boxes at the end of the nearest aisle. The box at the top of the stack was too high for me to see its top. Though it was an awkward and mindless thing to do, not done with any conscious intent, I lifted my right arm high and rested my hand on the topmost box. There was something up there. I felt around and retrieved a small plastic packet. There was a belt inside. It’s part number was an exact match for my mother’s broken belt. I had found the belt after I had given up looking and in a place where no one looking for a belt would have looked. I had not even seen the package toward which my hand had reached. It seems that this hard-to-find belt had been set aside for me. Spirit was helping me do what Spirit wants everyone to do, act with love under all circumstances. I have no doubt that I was led to that place by a loving Spirit who helps us do the right thing even when it is difficult to do so.
Spirit’s response to my prayer for a pencil involved a request for something very trivial, yet my request was swiftly granted. I regard my receipt of help in the service of my mother to have been much less trivial. But the spiritual lesson in both cases was the same and it is anything but trivial: Though we may look around and see only the physical, we are in the company of Benevolent Spirit. Just as modern scientists infer the presence of unobservable subatomic particles, I infer the presence of Benevolent Spirit by IT’S EFFECTS. I have many times observed receiving help under circumstances that are not plausibly explained in nonspiritual terms.
In an earlier paragraph, I hinted that I have received help from sources that I believe are angelic. That will require more space than I can spare here, but this time I will offer not only my personal testimony, but a picture that I took which is a physical manifestation of an angelic presence.