Excerpt from Chapter 9
While the kids and Steve were playing at the beach, Savannah and Jesus were at the grocery store strolling through the produce department, which was filled with bright colors and fresh smells.
“Look, avocados are on sale for 99 cents,” Savannah mentioned.
Jesus picked up a bundle of cilantro, smelling the herb, seeming to enjoy its unique aroma.
She tested the avocados for ripeness, then put two in the cart. Under her breath, Savannah asked Jesus, “Can people hear me talking to you?”
“Of course, they can. However, they can’t see or hear me. If you prefer, we can speak telepathically.”
Savannah thought, That would be best, then picked up a bag of grapes, commenting, That dream keeps bothering me. It comes almost every night, and it seems so real, progressing like a morbid soap opera. Between you and the dream, I’m starting to feel like I’m losing my mind.
Why does the dream bother you so much? he asked.
Because I fear it’s a premonition.
Do you think it’s possible to foresee the future?
And who is showing it to you?
You are very close. The Voice for God does speak to you, and sometimes warns you of impending events that would prevent you from fulfilling your destiny, allowing you to sidestep them. However, this dream doesn’t feel like Divine intervention to you, does it?
No. It feels more like an unstoppable omen.
They walked out of the produce department and into the next aisle.
Savannah asked Jesus, So is it an omen or Divine intervention? Or just a dream?
How do you know you’re awake now? he replied.
She tossed a bag of cookies into the cart and sighed. Your riddles aren’t helping me. I’m so upset about this dream I can’t sleep at night.
They strolled down the next aisle where she selected a bottle of ketchup.
Jesus picked up a jar of green olives, saying, I believe these are on your list.
Thanks. Savannah crossed it off the slim piece of paper in her hand, then mentioned, I’m kind of dreading the meat department. Are you opposed to killing animals for food?
Do you think a spirit can be a body?
I think a spirit can reside in a body.
Really? How does it reside in a body?
Savannah answered, You know, in it. Not really part of it, just in it.
Then what is the purpose of the body?
Well, we can’t do much without it.
Do you think a spirit can communicate without a body? Jesus asked.
You mean like a ghost?
A woman shopper interrupted their conversation, asking, “Can I get in here?” She pointed at the brand of bread she wanted.
“Sorry, I’ll move out of your way,” Savannah apologized as she absentmindedly grabbed a loaf, throwing it in the cart, continuing down the aisle.
Jesus rephrased his question, Do you think spiritual beings can communicate with people here on earth?
Well, you are, so obviously it’s possible, but not very common.
So one might say that the body limits communication.
Savannah stopped at the end of the aisle, looking at the meat section in front of them. Speaking of bodies—is it okay if we eat meat? I don’t want to offend you.
There’s nothing you could do that would offend me.
“Then I’m buying steaks!” Savannah blurted out loud.
A few shoppers glanced her way.
You’re out of steak sauce, Jesus mentioned.
After paying for the groceries, Savannah and Jesus walked across the hot parking lot to the SUV, putting the groceries in the cargo area, then got in. Savannah started the engine, immediately flipping on the air to cool down the interior.
She drove out of the lot, turning onto the main street, heading back to Topsail Island. With Jesus sitting beside her, she cruised past the gaudy souvenir shops where tourists exited with their newly purchased beach towels, boogie boards, t-shirts, hats and protective body suits—anticipating a fun day at the beach.
Savannah stopped at a red light. While waiting, she noticed white flashes darting above her vehicle. She leaned forward, peering up through the windshield.
Hundreds of doves were flying above her vehicle in a spiral that reached high into the sky—a captivating sight for the people waiting at the light and driving through the intersection.
“That’s not normal, is it?” she asked.
Jesus just smiled at her.
The car behind her honked. The traffic light had turned green. Savannah stepped on the gas.
Some of the doves flew ahead of them like guardian angels preparing the way while the remaining congregation closely followed the SUV as it crossed over the drawbridge. The houses, nestled along the marsh below, served as a scenic backdrop.
“Can everyone see them?” she asked Jesus, referring to the birds.
“Yes,” he answered.
She unconsciously scooted down in her seat as if a driverless car would be less noticeable.
After Savannah finished putting away the groceries, the phone rang. She answered it, “Hello?”
“Hello to you!” her sister replied cheerfully. Denise was sitting on the sofa with her feet propped on the coffee table, waiting for the polish on her toenails to dry. She asked, “I was wondering if I could join you for dinner and spend the night? I’d like to catch some rays in the morning.”
“Sure. We’re eating at six so come early.”
“I’ll be there.”
After hanging up the phone, Savannah glanced at Jesus, who was sitting at the kitchen table. She wondered if she should tell Denise about the Son of God coming into their lives—literally.
Jesus understood her concern. “Would you like to walk along the beach with me? We can talk about it.”
“Sure, but please let me change, first.”
Ten minutes later, they strolled along the sand. Savannah wore cut-off shorts with a red-striped tank top and a straw hat that tied under her chin. Jesus’ robe fluttered in the ocean breeze. The Watson’s beach house could be seen behind them with an unusual number of white doves circling over it. The salty haze added a mystical element to the setting.
Sunbathers lay on multi-colored towels. Swimmers bobbed in the waves. Young marines, who were taking a little R&R from the Camp Lejeune base, played touch football.
A three-year-old boy scooped sand into his bucket. He looked up at Savannah and Jesus, smiling at them.
Jesus leaned down, patting the boy’s small head before moving on.
“Why did you decide to show yourself to me and my family?” Savannah asked.
“You have it backwards. You decided to see me.”
“See, that concerns me, because you came at the exact same time that the dream started. Is something bad going to happen? Is that why you’re here?” She waited anxiously for his response.
“People are often afraid when they ‘see’ God. What if I told you I am only here because you were ready to see me. Nothing more. Nothing less.” He took a few more strides, then asked her, “Why don’t you ask me some of those questions that you always wanted answers to?”
Savannah liked that idea. “Okay. Why do bad things happen to good people?”
“First, let me clarify that people are neither good nor bad.”
“Now, you’re just trying to start an argument,” she sputtered.
She blushed. “Okay, I don’t really believe you’d start an argument. I’m just having a hard time believing there aren’t bad people.”
“Well, let’s go through this logically. First, do you think God is a spirit or body?”
“So if God made you in his image—wouldn’t you also be a spirit?”
“I guess that makes sense, but where does the body come into this?”
“If you are a spirit, how can you be a body?”
“Because I have one!” she said, lifting her arms, spinning around in a circle to demonstrate the proof of her physical form. “You can’t deny I have a body.”
He kindly regarded her playfulness, and, instead of disagreeing with her, he said, “When you no longer see yourself as separate from God, you will see yourself as you truly are—a perfect spirit.”
“Is that how you see me, right now?” she inquired.
“‘See’ wouldn’t be the correct term. ‘Know’ would be more accurate. Although with your current belief in time and space, it’s impossible for you to fully comprehend that you are a spirit in complete unison with God, even as we speak.”
The waves washed over their feet.
Jesus completed his answer, “I know you as love—communicating perfectly with the Father and all of His Creation.”
Savannah quietly asked, “Can you show me how the world looks through your eyes?”
The ocean, sky and sand dissolved into a golden glow.
Rays of light extended from the Son of God’s soul to the heavens.
Savannah felt the eternal love, ebbing and flowing with all of existence, pulsating through her.
Then it all stopped.
The golden light was once again cloaked by the physical form.
Savannah looked at the ocean’s sandy water sluggishly lapping at the shore. “Why did it stop?” she asked him.
“Because that was all you could accept. It’s always your choice,” Jesus answered. “Ready to head back?”
She turned around.
“Regarding ‘bad things’ happening,” Jesus said, “It may be difficult for you to accept, but God doesn’t do anything to you. This is your life. You manifest everything that happens to you.”
“Okay, I have two problems with that statement. First, God created me so it would seem he creates everything that happens to me, and second, I’m just a person. I can’t create all of this.” Savannah stretched out her arms wide to represent the whole world.
Jesus replied, “Let’s go back to what I said previously about you being a spirit. If you’re a spirit, created in God’s image, then you would have all of His power. And if you had all of that power, then you certainly could create this life and everything that happens to you in it.” He added, “The real problem is you don’t see yourself that way. You see yourself as an insignificant and limited woman—a victim to the whims of this world. It is only because you don’t fully recognize yourself as God’s Creation that you doubt what I am saying.”
Savannah sighed. “I just can’t get past not seeing myself as a body.”
“Yet you also believe you are a spirit. You will remain conflicted as long as you try to reconcile being both flesh and spirit.”
“Is it wrong to think of myself as a body?”
“You are free to think of yourself however you would like, for as long as you would like, but, eventually, you will see yourself as you really are. How long you wish to procrastinate is up to you.”