Invocation, Blessing, Sacrament
The Voice of Love will find You
Before we begin, a request: If you like reading this, please click the ❤️ button. Share it with your friends. Highlight a passage and Substack will re-stack it. This helps more people to discover my work. Thank you!
When I was working on an angel column in a national women’s magazine, God found me. God also found the photo editor, whose son, stepping of the school bus, handed her a feather. “This is for you, Mommy,” he said. “The nice lady said I should give it to you.” God had a feather - or a blessing - for every person who worked on that column.
All of my posts are free but paid subscribers DO receive gifts. Check it out.
When I was ready to leave that job, God found the woman who would replace me. She ‘just happened to’ send me an email on the very day I was giving my two weeks notice. She was out of work and out of money. The rent was overdue. She’d suddenly thought of me, she wrote. Was there any work she might help with?
There was work, I told her, and she ‘just happened to be’ the perfect person for the job. The voice of Love had found her and (this is the important part) she’d trusted it. When she’d acted on the nudge to reach out to me, look what happened!
The voice of love will find us - wherever we are. Sensitive souls have always heard this voice. It’s always there. If you listen, you'll hear it. It's right beside your ear.
Why am I writing about this today? Because I’m feeling squirrely inside. Why am I feeling squirrelly: I’m hearing the voice of Love. This can happen, too.
The more I follow that voice, the deeper I wade in to the ocean of Divine Love. The deeper I wade, the more I feel the touchstones of the familiar vibrating with warning. Stop. Stay here. You don’t know what could happen if you swim out too far.
It’s true. I don’t know. But as those touchstones become gatekeepers, trying to keep me inside the frame, I get squirrely inside. This is not a frame I want to live in.
Every time I speak publically about the God that I know, I fear that someone will ask for authentication, proof, documentation. It hasn’t happened often but a few times, it has. Like the time when I was speaking about light and a man asked me: “Can you tell me the 12 orders of angels?” Like I was a quiz contestant on “You Bet Your Life”. (Maybe I was.)
God scares people - and talking like we know anything about God sets us out in the fringe. As my sister once wisely asked me, “If you are going to tell people you talk to angels, what do you expect?”
This happens, I think, because people need guidelines - touchstones of faith that we can count on. We need to test them so we can trust them because the farther out we swim, the more the compasses of our old ways begin to spin.
This is the crossing point, the real moment of truth. The moment when faith matters most - will we cling to the buoys or trust the water… and keep swimming?
I don’t want to disappoint anyone. We’ve all been disappointed by gurus and teachers and experts claiming to know all about God. But you know what? We never needed the books or the divination cards to connect with God. Turn your heart toward Love. Are you searching? Look down. You’re standing on sacred ground. Are you lost? Look up. Everything you see is God. Every path is the way.
No one knows what God is. We have no idea what God looks like - and anyone who tells you otherwise is reading from the old books. I prefer my deities in present time.
The angels, as I know them, are shimmer stripes of color, light and sound who exist in the flow layer between humankind and the Divine. They are more wave than creature, more flow than winged bird. When they arrive, I sense them first as sound. Waves of vibration. As they draw closer, I see colors - luminous hues of purples and blues. Also, I hear them singing.
Angels are energy in motion, flowing across the invisible carrier medium where communication flows between us and the Divine. This flow is made of prayer, of intention and emotion. It’s made of all that we emanate. Something translates what we send outward into a language we do not (yet) understand. The Divine (God) receives it and instantly responds. This response moves toward us as … everything everywhere.
What I mean is: everything is a response from the force of Love. Everything that exists is a gift and it’s all for us - the air, the sunlight, that bowl of organic cherry tomatoes on your table. All for us. All for you - your eyelashes and cell phone, the turtle your aunt gave you years ago. All of it - a response to your call.
This is why, when someone asks me about hierarchies and choirs, I say: I don’t know.
Because I actually don’t know.
What I do know is this: It’s okay if we want to name and categorize the angels into orders of higher and lower, cherubim and seraphim but doing so doesn’t change reality. The angels aren’t like us, with human faces and human values. Angels (and, for that matter, nature spirits, fairies and other invisible (to us) presences) are their own sorts of beings and, no matter what stories and images, paintings and divination cards, we make of them, they just keep doing what angels do, melting and flowing and performing miracles.
So, go ahead and ask me: Well, what sort of beings are they?
Again, I don’t know. No one does. Not really. Though there are many people who converse with angels and some who can actually see them, they don’t know where angels come from or what they are made of. Not really.
Just now, right outside my window, a flock of small black birds has alighted on the lawn. They arrived together and spread out across the grass, each one an individual, pecking around for lunch. Then, suddenly, they lifted off. A flock. A murmuration of movement and flapping wings, rising as one.
The angels are like that. A harmony of voices, vibrating everywhere.
Several times, I’ve asked the angels for their names. Each time, they’ve laughed, amused by my (all too human) attempt to label and contain them. Amused but not critical. That’s the thing about angels. They’re not (at all) human. Infnitely patient, they’ve no need to prove and disprove settled law. It’s been centuries, aeons - we’ve always known the only truth that matters: We are here with you. You are here with us. And all of this, you and we and this, right here now, is blessed.
So, how do we connect with angels? We turn toward them. We open our listening.
When the angels speak, I see and feel and taste their colors. Each color has a voice, a tone that vibrates through my body: ears first, then head and face.
The color-voice moves through me, a wave pouring and pulsing in. I feel it at the back of my throat. I feel it at the base of my spine. I see/feel the angels’ message. I smell/taste it. It’s as if the words are written on the inside of my forehead even as I receive them as a song, writing itself as it is singing inside of me.
But honestly, when this sort of intelligence is speaking to you there is a moment when describing it becomes a distraction. You stop observing and surrender - you join the song as it pours through you. This, too, is God.
I did not find God in a book. I was not raised in a church, synagogue or mosque community. The God that I know is not historical. For me, God is here. An oceanic vastness, a presence that is so close I can hear it buzzing beside me and so wide, so deep that I will never find its bottom, never locate its edge. Does this make me an animyst? Who cares? More labels. More shoving things into categories and containers. God does not fit into your boxes.
Still, anchors and buoys do help - boats help. The sea is wide and deep. There is no edge. No bottom. Guides help, holding lanterns, naming landmarks, as we make our careful way. That said, when I ask God to come closer, the closeness comes from everywhere. God is a snuggler. More hug than telegram. God is a tidal surge not an email.
When I was three, so the story goes, my mother (and a certified Water Safety Instructor at summer camp) threw me into the lake. It was understood that I would figure out, instinctively, how to swim. It was understood, according to my mother, that they were standing right there. “We never would have let you drown,” she told me, years later, at a barbecue in someone’s backyard. We were eating charred burgers on brioche buns on soggy paper plates. For me, the sharp crunch and burn of red onion is always there, with this memory.
“You threw me into the water!!??”
“You flipped right over,” she said. “A natural swimmer.”
Some things we just know - or, more accurately, things that our bodies know: Swimming in a lake. Vomiting up tainted food. Growing a human being in the center of our body and then, ready or not, pushing it painfully out, into the world.
And… there are things we can not know and must surrender to. And I think that it is here, in this surrendering, that we catch our glimpse of God.
My mother died by choking on a sip of water. I keep trying to write that line in a different way - a way that doesn’t feel so stark, as if I’m making less of this event than it was. As if I am reducing my mother’s death to a sight gag.
But this is what happened. Nine years after her ‘great adventure’ (that’s what she called it) began with open heart surgery, my mother was back in the hospital where, surrounded by people she loved, she knew (and also didn’t know) what was happening.
As she tossed around, raging with fever, we held her hands. We talked to her. Unable to settle, she coughed. “Are you thirsty?” I asked. She nodded.
The water was poured from a plastic hospital pitcher into a cello cup. My son performed the rite. I asked him to. (Honestly, I would have gotten the water myself but I could see my son’s training as a healer (he’s a Doctor of Physical Therapy) twitching in his hands. He needed to help. He needed to get his grandmother a glass of water.)
She received the cup with both hands. She looked into the eyes of her first born grandchild and smiled. She lifted the cup, took a sip and choked. And after choking some more, quite a lot, she slid into a coma.
Later that day or maybe the next day, she died. When we’re ready, God finds us. All it takes is a single sip of water when we are ready to throw ourselves into the lake.
(There is more to this story, of course. There is also less to this story. Some day, I will find the middle place and the courage, patience and willingness required to trust it to flow through me. For now, the memoir keeps popping out in little bits.)
When my mother was dying, she told me, “You just have to trust.” It was the day before my yoga teacher test. I was standing beside her bed in Tree Pose - balanced on one leg as I pressed the sole of my other foot hard into the flesh of my upper thigh. It hurt but it was working and I wasn’t going to stop. Not until I felt confident I could hold it tomorrow.
“What are you doing?” she asked me.
“Tree pose,” I said. “I have to know this. I’m afraid I won’t be able to…”
“You’ll be able to,” she said. And I looked at her. “You just have to trust,” she said. And I became more solid. This, too, is a kind of miracle. Being held in the gaze of the person who made me. I felt her confidence in me. I trusted that.
For months this pose had vexed me. My standing leg shook. The sole of my other foot slid down the smooth surface of my yoga pants. Even when I got it right, I couldn’t hold the pose more than a few seconds without listing to the side and often, toppling onto the floor. But that day, beside my mother’s bed, I was holding it. On both legs. I could do this.
After she fell asleep, I scribbled down her words on a yellow sticky note in Esther’s kitchen. I snapped a photo in case I lost the sticky note - in case I forgot.
I haven’t forgotten.
It was a blessing.
We just have to trust — the body’s wisdom, the mother’s gaze. We have to trust the water we swim in and the other beings who swim by. We have to trust ourselves to maintain equanimity - to hold the pose. We have to trust that we have the patience to stop, to pay attention, to listen when the time comes.
As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “If we know how to come back to the present moment … we will open our arms and embrace life - and have no enemies. “When we have no enemy, no reproach, no blaming, then our mind is light like a cloud.”
This is the same teaching that The Guides whisper in my ear. Perhaps they are channeling Thich Nhat Hanh. Perhaps he also heard their whispers. Perhaps, even the Buddha, was listening, even then, to the voice of Love.
Two days after my mother died, she called me - on a dream telephone.
Well, actually, first, this man came on the line. “I have your mother here,” he told me. “She was having trouble using the technology so I’m giving her a hand.” Then, my mother’s voice. “Amy? Is that you?”
“Mom,” I gasped a grief bubble. Was it really her?
“Listen, Amy I don’t have much time and I have something to ask you.”
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
“They tell me… “ and here, she paused as if sharing a joke. “They tell me that I’m dead!” She said it like, Isn’t this silly? And I laughed with her a little, even as I confirmed, “You are dead, Mom.”
“So, it’s true,” she said. I could see her shaking her head. It was a dream so it was possible to be watching someone while talking to them from far away. “Does Jenny know? Does Beth?” she asked, and then, because she’d named them, my sisters appeared. I left them to work things out, as I drifted awake and wrote this down.
We know how to swim - we just have to let go but before we do, we have to know that when we do, something will catch us. Or guide us or meet us as we fall. What is that something? We know. Our bodies are born knowing and born trusting the something that is right there, whispering in our ears. It’s our minds that have been trained not to trust it. And so, much of adult life is spent searching. We re-collect the puzzle pieces, we line up all the edges and fill the middle in. This way, when the foundation falls away, when we are swept out to sea, we can trust. The puzzle will hold.
Which leads me back where I began. Back to God and angels and personal experience which is, for me, the only way to know what I need to know.
Still, sometimes God and even, love, can feel wildly out of reach. On days when depth diving asks too much of me, I turn away from the color-song. I turn on the television. I binge-watch Bridgerton. I grab a win at Wordle. I mark my days by the steady rhythm of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
On these days, smaller miracles matter: these plants that self-sprouted in the compost heap. I don’t know what they are - zucchini? cucumber? - but I trust them to know. I am not in control of this magic.
At the magazine, I read thousands of angel stories and spoke with hundreds of real people who’d been touched by miracles. There was something in their voices. A ring of truth that told me, yes, what they’re saying is true. They have felt the pulsation of the Divine drawing near.
God found me at that desk, reading angel mail but the truth is, I’d been looking for God for a long time. And finally, somehow, across the invisible medium between God and me, I must have… twinkled. And God saw me, driving my car, diapering my babies, all lit up with love.
At least that’s how it worked for me. For other people? Well, we have the reports. First person accounts floated across the ocean from ancient kings and prophets and charioteers. Our sacred texts are built on these stories. So is our current reality. All of these stories are the same: Someone hears a voice. The voice, which sounds like a song or tastes like honey or smells like sweet roses whispers: You are not alone. Every moment is a sacrament. Every breath a gift.
For centuries, the angels have been here, demonstrating their presence in countless ways. For centuries, we have forgotten and had to realize it all anew. Like waking from a dream. Amazed, awestruck, swept with color-song. We wade in deeper. Each time the mind is a little lighter, a little bit more like a cloud.
To my U.S. readers, a prayer: May all who dwell in this land know the true blessings of freedom. May you know the lived experience of joy. May no one person oppress the freedom of another. May each be free to find their own way for all ways are blessed by Love.
To all of my readers, everywhere,
a summer of bountiful blessing.
A few announcements:
All of my offerings are here
A new flight of Journey: Becoming Real begins this fall.
Read about that here.
Join our Next New Moon Gathering
Soul Caller Salon at the New Moon
Sunday July 16 at noon/Eastern
$18 or free to paid subscribers
(Paid subscribers use the coupon code sent to you by email)
Read about Writing Spirit here:
A flow journaling workshop
Mondays at 6:30pm/Eastern
All of my posts are free but paid subscribers DO receive gifts - workshops, discounts. Go see. :)