Who Are You With … Really?
Thirty three years ago I had an experience that powerfully changed the way I perceive and love my husband Barry. I have shared this experience only with Barry and a few friends. Today I want to share this gem of a story in the hopes that perhaps it can change the way you perceive your loved ones.
Three years into our marriage, in 1972, we had a very difficult and challenging time. We separated for a while and it didn’t look like our marriage could survive, even though we tried to heal the major issue. We realized that in order to truly heal we needed to bring spirituality into our marriage. This had been a major issue in our getting married because Barry was raised in a Jewish family and I was raised in a Christian family. We knew that it wasn’t going to work for me to start going to the temple or for Barry to start going to church with me. We realized that we needed to embark on a journey of studying the world’s major religions and different spiritual paths. By the time this story takes place, six years later, we had not picked a particular religion, but instead were attracted to the Great Presence of Love that resides within all religions and paths.
I had given birth to our first child six months previous. I lived a very quiet life of caring for our daughter Rami in the isolation and quiet of the woods and ridge top that we lived on. I have always been a very sensitive person, and my sensitivity was perhaps doubled at this time in my life of living such an inward life. Barry supported us by traveling over an hour away to a Kaiser Hospital to work as a doctor in a general medical clinic. He worked two 13 hour shifts a week, seeing at minimum 4 patients an hour.
On this particular evening that Barry was working as an MD, I was listening to devotional songs about Jesus while nursing our baby. From the time I have been a child I have always felt a special connection to Jesus, not so much in a religious way, but in a personal way that He was my best friend and would help and guide me in all aspects of my life. My devotion and love for Jesus grew so strong that evening that I felt I could not bear to live another day without seeing him. I had heard about people who had visions of Jesus and I wanted to be one of them. That night after I put Rami to sleep I prayed very deeply that I could see Jesus in person, perhaps in a vision or even my dreams.
Barry usually returned home from work very late at night. Because I was in such a sensitive period in my life, I needed him to transition out of doctor mode before coming into bed with me, otherwise I could feel all of the patients he had worked with and it would wake me up and not allow me to go back to sleep. I then got up very early with Rami while he slept. Barry would take a shower, meditate for a while and then slip very quietly into bed not waking me up. This had been our routine for several months.
Barry, meanwhile, was driving home from work in our 1970 blue VW “hippy van,” complete with tie dyed curtains. He kept the glove compartment packed with his favorite cassette tapes, like Creedence Clearwater, Santana, Neil Young, The Beattles, The Doors, etc – lively music that helped to keep him awake. I had one cassette in the glove compartment which was Handel’s Messiah. Barry never listened to that tape, unless I was in the car as well and really wanted to. Late at night, that particular tape was guaranteed to put him to sleep at the wheel.
Driving out of Kaiser Hospital’s parking lot, Barry reached into the glove box in the dark van and picked out – you guessed it – Handel’s Messiah. Rather than putting him to sleep, on this particular night the music energized and nurtured him. When he arrived home, he knew in his heart that he must immediately come into the room where I was sleeping, rather than taking a shower and meditating first. He leaned over me and just gazed down at me. I opened my eyes and in that instant I felt that God was answering my prayer to have a vision of Jesus. Yes, Barry had all kinds of hospital smells and patient energies around him, and yet when I gazed into his eyes, it was the love of Jesus that I saw and felt. As I looked up into his loving eyes, I knew that Jesus was giving me the message that a powerful way to love Him was to love my husband and see and feel His Presence in Barry. For those of you with a different spiritual orientation, you have the opportunity to see pure light, angels, or other spiritual teachers shining through your loved one’s face.
This message has had a powerful impact on my relationship with Barry. No, I do not always see him as a divine being. I am far from perfect in this. But when I can see him from my heart, he is that divine being looking at me tenderly with love. Expressing my love and devotion to Barry is a way of expressing my love and devotion to God. I can still see him looking down at me 33 years ago, fulfilling my prayer for a vision.