Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Eyes to See Angels

This is a story about reclaiming something in me that was lost.  The idea of going out in the world in order to find "yourself” is a cliché and frequently scoffed at.  But there is really nothing greater in this life than finding yourself; to waking up to the truth of your being.

For me, this journey of awakening includes pulling out of my unconscious self the pieces that are ready to come forward.  I am talking about the shadow parts that have been suppressed, resisted, and covered over.  I have unconsciously kept them in the dark for a myriad of misguided reasons.

We call this process re – membering; that is putting the pieces back together.  And I had a powerful remembering, lying on the floor in the darkened sanctuary at Isis Cove, in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

In my journey I re-dreamed a dream I had as a little boy in Quincy, Indiana.  I could not have been more than five or six.   Around that time my family moved to this small town in Southern Indiana and my father took the position of minister to a small town and country church.

We moved into the parsonage across the street.  There were six of us in all; my two parents who took the master bedroom, my two older sisters in the other large bedroom, and my little sister was in the extra small bedroom.  That left me.  There were no more bedrooms so I was put in a baby bed in my father’s study.  Not only was I not upstairs with the rest of my family, but I was in the room downstairs that was as far away from the rest of them as I could possibly be.  I could not have been more separate from my family if they had consciously tried.

And I was afraid.  I was afraid of the dark.  I was afraid of the shadows that seemed to animate and move around my father’s study in the darkness.  My parents tried to console me with the assurance that I was surrounded by hundreds of angels.  But to me, an angel was not a comfort, it was just another disembodied spirit; a spook.

And I had paid enough attention in church to imagine that those angels were in constant conflict with an equal hoard of demons which was hungering to get at me.  My darkened bedroom was alive with dueling spirits, swirling shadows, monsters and unnumbered and unnamed things that go bump in the night.  I could see them, and even on the hottest summer evening I slept with a blanket over my head.  I was well into my adolescence before I ventured to fall asleep with my head uncovered.

That is the backdrop for my dream.  I became that small child again, alone downstairs while the rest of my family slumbered somewhere far away.  I walked into the dining room which also held the stairway to the upper rooms, but my passage was blocked by a large and fierce looking lion.  This was a strong male lion with a full mane, like the ones I had seen on the pages of a children’s Bible storybook.

My fear of the lion was compounded by the presence of a towering masculine angel who seemed to be communing with the beast.  The angel had long flowing blonde hair and his aspect was snow white.   I don’t remember seeing a sword, but he had a strong presence that held the power of artist’s renderings of the arc angel, Michael.

The lion did not attack me or even come toward me, and the angel never faced me with the full force of his presence while I stood frozen in the doorway.  Yet I sensed that they were fully aware of my presence, and now it comes to me that they wanted to make themselves known to me but did not wish to frighten me.  Now I know the lion was there to give me his strength and the angel was there to give me his guidance.

But my scared little boy sensibilities did not let the truth of that vision have its desired effect until now, some fifty years later.  The little boy came forward from that dream and prayed to God that he would never again be confronted with angels – and the spirits complied.  Out of fear, I shut down my ability to see angels.  There really were spirits and beings and entities moving around the nighttime shadows of my father’s study, but they obediently hid themselves from me, at my request.

The piece of soul-retrieval here is a profound remembering of why I moved away from my family in the first place.  I am the only one of us who ever even left the state of Indiana.  It is paradoxical that being separate from my family . . . feels like home.  And if my sisters ever need to understand why I live so far away, they need to remember that little boy who was set so far apart, who tried to make his cries heard through a warm air register in the ceiling, so they would tell his mother who might come down and comfort him.  I can still hear them yelling crossed the hallway, “Mom, John’s crying.”

I have had some deep healing around that remembering, and now I can recognize that urge in me to be separate (in general) from the ones who love me, especially when things get too comfortable. 

And the piece of gold that comes from mining this wound is about my forgotten ability to see angels.  I reclaim that gift now, and since having this journey have put the ability to work.  When I am allowing, and in certain light, I can see the wings of the people around me.  I have practiced this seeing with friends and with people I don’t even know. 

You can try this yourself; look at someone and ask yourself, “What would their wings look like?”  Don’t try to put wings on them, let their own wings appear.  They are there all the time – we just need the eyes to see.

Announcement:  With the kind help of Joyce and Roger at  we have gotten the early version of our website up; take a look at:

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