Ninety-one year old “Donna” lay on the floor in her own feces, unsure of where she was and if she’d been on the floor all night. Lately she had been wandering the halls, frantic about where her children were, and asking why they had dropped her off at this strange place (where she’d lived happily for several years).
Donna had been my 93-year-old dad’s constant companion at their assisted living center for the past four years. Recently they moved her into an Alzheimer’s nursing home, breaking both their hearts, as well as those of both families.
When I took my dad to see Donna, she moved toward him with outstretched arms, weeping, just like in the movies. They held each other, crying, and then curled up together in an armchair, unwilling to let go. As my dad noticed the conditions of the nursing home, the wheelchair-bound people hunched over in fetal positions, the aura of death and despair, Donna’s plaintiff cries wondering why she was abandoned there, he lamented, “This place is going to kill her.”
Since I heard the news that Donna was placed in the nursing home, I had gotten migraines, asthma, and a backache for three days. Doing affirmations from A Course in Miracles over and over helped somewhat, but I couldn’t shake the tension. On the fourth morning a friend called me, distraught over her own slide into ego-land. Her MRI had shown increased arthritis in her back, more bulging discs, and she’d missed three days of work because she couldn’t concentrate from the pain.
I asked her if she wanted to hear the answer Spirit popped into my head. “Sure,” she said. “You place pathetic faith in what your eyes and ears report,” (W-151.3:5) I replied. “Those MRI films are literally false images. They are not true. They’re part of the script the ego wrote in the tiny mad idea, and you don’t have to believe them.” She answered, “So there’s no truth to years of degenerative back disease either?” “Nope. You have a choice whether or not to think those lying images are real.”
As soon as I relayed what Spirit gave me, I began to literally breathe easier and I could feel tension dissipate from my back. I relaxed for the first time since I’d gotten the news about Donna. Spirit was telling me that the images of my dad and Donna being separated were not true. Deep down I really understood that “the purpose of the world you see is to obscure your function of forgiveness, and provide you with a justification for forgetting it. It is the temptation to abandon God and His Son by taking on a physical appearance.” (W-64.1:2-3)
These images are so darned painful because their purpose is to make us forget Truth. Donna and my dad are children of God, whole and complete. They are not these mere bodies that suffer and die. I also realized it was up to me to choose forgiveness, which I did. It gave me the miracle of peace and allowed me to hold the truth that this world’s images are false. A Course in Miracles tells us, “The miracle establishes that you dream a dream, and that its content is not true.” (T-28.II.7:1)
A few days later my friend called me back and said when she came home from work that night her husband commented that she seemed a lot better. “Did you guys pray for me at the Course meeting? I felt something because minds are joined.” I told her we had prayed and discussed that our function as miracle workers is to hold the truth and deny false images for those who are temporarily unable to do so for themselves.
It worked with my dad, too. When I called him to ask how he was feeling about Donna, he said, “A lot better. I think she’s handling this with grace and that makes me love her that much more.” The night before she had been able to say, “Bye, Honey. See you later,” without getting upset. My dad took this piece and ignored the rest.
What false images are deceiving your mind and upsetting you? Are you aware that you could see peace instead of this? (W-34.h) When you make the choice for forgiveness, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Blessings, Lorri Coburn