We go beyond what can be symbolized to what can only be known within. It is to this state of grace that I call you now, today: The state of grace of the newly identified child of God. Open your heart, for the one who dwells there in union with all will emerge from this opening. What was once a tiny pinprick of light becomes a beacon as you open your heart and allow your true identity to be what is, even within your form. You are in grace and union with the Source and Cause of unity. Be no longer causeless. You and your Source are one. D1:12-13

Sunday morning and I feel limp and groggy in that way I do “after” things, this time the “thing” being the interview with Rick Archer of Buddha at the Gas Pump. It was the interview, the gift of a song, crying over the song, my dad, Mary helping me get ready, and all the kind people—all the graces of life. That’s how it came to me.

The graces of life.

Let me share what happened. There was this interview…yesterday. Before that, there was the build-up to the interview. I received these wonderful instructions from BatGap about how to do the best interview possible—technically and, in a way—physically: The kind of lighting, the right setting, the best position for sitting, the right clothes, and above all, the proper equipment. I honestly thought this was wonderfully kind. They cared. And so for about two weeks, Mary Love and I were ordering equipment, running to Best Buy and Radio Shack when the equipment didn’t work as planned, testing and retesting with each other, and then with Jerry who volunteers with BatGap and does sound checks from Utah, then Rick himself in Iowa. At the same time people were hearing about it and sending me encouragement and suggestions and I heard from some of those who had suggested that I be a guest. Word spread. Anticipation spread.

Then the day came.

Another test run with the amazing Jerry. A test run with Rick and another volunteer whose name I’ve forgotten but who I believe was in Canada. Mary came over one more time to be sure it was all working. (I’m not very technical, you see.)

Everyone was so nice to me.

Luckily all was working. Mary let herself out and Rick and I settled in. https://batgap.com/ I haven’t re-listened to the interview yet (it will likely be up tomorrow) and it’s all a blur at the moment, but I think the question Rick asked that got me talking about my dad was “Do you see Jesus as a person?” Isn’t that an interesting question!

And so there I was, saying “Yes,” and talking about how so many of us commune in one way or another with those who have physically left the world. And how you can tell a visitation of one passed-on person from another because of relationship. I told Rick of this song I heard right after my dad died—heard in my head in that way you do where it keeps playing so continually you want nothing more than for it to leave you alone. Over and over it played and I wasn’t even listening. Maybe at first I was hearing melody without words. But at some point, I stopped and actually “heard” it.  It was a Beatles song. What had been repeating and repeating was “If there’s anything that you want. If there’s anything that you need. Just call on me, and I’ll send it along, with love from me to you. I have arms that long to hold you, and keep you by my side…” well anyway, that sounded so like my dad. I suddenly knew Dad had planted the song in me. Knew it in that way you do.

People have far more profound messages from life after death. But this song that alerted me that Dad was still near was what came to me, in that moment, to share.

This morning I had an email from Rick with a message line of “From me to you.” I thought it was an early copy of the interview. I opened it. And there it was. The Beatles song. I couldn’t believe it. Again, what a grace! As I listened to it, my nose tingled and my eyes teared up and I felt such remembrance of Dad and so in awe that after one conversation this professional interviewer had thought to do something so, so dear.

And so I began to think of grace.

I remembered the beginning of the Dialogues, the invitation to abide in a State of Grace. I love that phrase as much as I love the phrase, “follow your heart.” There is something about it.

Mary, Julie & Mari, 2016

I often call my years just prior to ACOL (mid-90’s) “the time of Grace.” These were my years of nearly daily connection with my friends Mary Love and Julieanne Carver. The days when they were pregnant together. The days after their babies were born and Mary’s daughter Grace clung fragiley to life. The days after Grace’s death when we held each other tenderly and began to explore the big questions of life and death, of Grace and grace.

My friends and I co-authored our story of the time into the book, Love. Then, after reading the journal Mary kept while she was pregnant, as her daughter lived, and after she died, I encouraged our publisher to see it. Then Mary encouraged me to share my writing with the angel, Peace. And so came about the original publication of The Grace Trilogy (1997). I gave the three books to Glenn Hovemann when (having read ACOL) he came to St. Paul to meet me, and when, in a surprising move—surprising to both of us—I asked him if he wanted to publish A Course of Love (leading to our current Combined Volume and a tremendous sharing of it around the world).

The connection of that “time of Grace” to the coming of A Course of Love had never felt to me like one that others would see or feel. But Glenn saw it, and felt it was quite significant. Eventually, he asked if we’d like to republish the now out-of-print trilogy as well. https://acourseoflove.org/maris-other-books/

And so, the 24 hours that began the morning of the interview, and concluded this morning with the finding of the song . . . became a period of grace, an extension of all that began, all those years ago.

I believe in our mutual state of grace!

To believe you are in concert with the universe is to believe that you have no need for struggle, to believe you have no lack, to believe in your state of grace. C:25.12