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Energy Healer by Night

It’s weird to be in two worlds—the world of ordained traditional church ministry and the world of energy healing. My friends and colleagues in the ordained ministry world thought I might have gone a bit off the rails, and my new friends in the energy world didn’t quite trust me because of my connection to the traditional church. So, I kept my worlds separate.

The problem was that the boundary between my two worlds was very porous, and the worlds kept leaking into one another.

I would find myself preparing for a lesson or a sermon for “the church” and thinking, “Oh, we’re talking about intentions, or manifestation, or healing energy.” When I was with Energy Healers, I would think, “That’s what Jesus really meant when he said. . .”

Neither group was very comfortable hearing about my amazing “a-ha” moments.

As I was preparing to write this book, I realized that there was a story like mine in the Gospel of John: the story of Nicodemus. Nicodemus was just as conflicted as I was at the start of my journey. He comes to Jesus under the cover of darkness so that his “religious friends” won’t get wind of just how far off the rails he has gone. I also imagine that, like me, Nicodemus knew that the followers of Jesus would find him a bit untrustworthy.

Yet, there is something about this charismatic teacher, Jesus, that speaks to Nicodemus’ heart and soul, so much so that he cannot refuse the impulse to go to Jesus.

Nicodemus starts by buttering Jesus up a bit, telling him that he and his religious friends have been talking and Jesus must be a teacher sent by God.

Jesus ignores all that and cuts right to the heart of what Nicodemus really wants to ask, saying, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.” (CEB)

Before even asking what Jesus might mean, Nicodemus says, “It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?” (CEB)

What follows is one of the pieces of Scripture that the church has pointed to for centuries to prove their claim that being born again is all about being saved by the blood of Christ, your sins washed away, and your ticket to heaven punched.

Here’s what Jesus says: “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (CEB)

Nicodemus is so flummoxed by this that he says, “How are these things possible?”

I have wondered for a long time how this is possible, and if you are reading this, you probably do, too.

I believe Jesus is telling Nicodemus and all who feel the draw to Jesus, just as Nicodemus did, that we are indeed both human and Divine.  (The church got that partly right but limited that belief to Jesus only.) We are born from the waters of the womb, born from flesh. We get that, it makes sense.

Jesus is teaching us that we are also spirit, and to be born anew is to remember who we are, a small “I Am” within the “Great I Am.” If we listen for the Spirit, we will hear it just as we hear even a small breeze moving in our physical world. And just like the wind, we don’t know where it came from or where it is going.

To be born anew is to remember the Divine spark within each of us, to listen for the Spirit, and to trust what we hear the Spirit whispering (or in my case, sometimes shouting), even when we don’t know exactly where it comes from or where it is going. Jesus is teaching us to trust that we are walking with Spirit.

Is it easy? No, but it is so worth the journey. Nicodemus’ own journey speaks volumes. He went back to his world of the Sanhedrin and yet spoke up for Jesus when the Sanhedrin threatened Jesus. (John 7: 50-51) Nicodemus, along with Joseph of Arimathea, claimed Jesus’ body from the cross, provided the spices for burial, and laid Jesus in the tomb. (John 19:38-42) This final act of Nicodemus in the Gospel record tells us that he is no longer a secret follower of Jesus. His religious friends would have heard what he did. We don’t know their reaction. Perhaps the Gospel writer leaves that up to us for a reason so that we can write the continuing story, both of Nicodemus and for our own journey with Jesus.

Join me on the journey.

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