As I sat there I became aware, strongly aware, of her presence. My mind must be playing some trick on me I first thought, but the feeling was undeniable.
Shortly before, you should know, I had passed through the tunnel connecting the academic building to the administrative building where I now sat, in the adjoining chapel. And for those who don’t know, it is in this tunnel – tunnel sounds dark; it’s really an underground hallway – it is in this tunnel where the fresco “The Healing Spirit” lives. This is the fresco the artist Woong-Sik Chon created back in the late 1990s after his youngest child died from SIDS. Originally to have been a representation of a passage from the Gospel of Mark, Chon transformed it into a visual of his personal journey through the deepest grief possible after his youngest child died from SIDS. It is a most powerful piece of art. And for me, that day, I felt a connection, a deep connection, to the artist as I lingered through that hallway. Then, shortly after, I am in this Chapel at a small Methodist seminary and the radiant energy of Amy fills the space around me.
Tears fill my eyes and roll down my cheeks as I to my best to keep up with the worship service. "Are you really here?" I almost ask out loud.
There are times, for me at least, when I am presented with the supernatural, the awe of God or the sense of something “else.” And for some of those times, many of those times really, I shake my head and reach back to some more logical, physical explanation. Rainbows really are only a matter of optical physics, after all. And the sensations of spirits or ghosts are just the proper alignment of neurochemical reactions triggered by some emotional need or fear.
This time, as her presence washed over me, those scientific beliefs did not crowd out what I was experiencing. She was light and flowing literally filling the space. Not happy nor not sad but content, she was. And she stayed with me for a while. A few minutes perhaps. A sad peace began to fill me. The service was continuing and I was standing now for a song I don’t remember. And then the most remarkable feeling of all: She hugged me. I could feel her all around me in an embrace. Warmth and gentle pressure. She wrapped around me as when a child I’d stretch out a big quilt on the floor and roll up in it, and then stand. It felt like that. And a stew of emotions – sadness and longing, love and peace – nudged my silent tears into quiet sobs. For a moment I was in another dimension embracing her, and she me, just on the other side of the veil of this reality. I sensed she wanted to tell me she was okay; that it was okay. That I was okay. I wanted to hear it but wasn’t exactly sure I did, but I sensed it. And then she left. I wanted it to last but somehow knew it was time for her to move on. The sounds of the worship service returned and I was back in the present.
I wiped the tears from my face.