The beautiful mountains captivated her. When Marian saw them she was dumbfounded. How could this be. She had left home moments ago and went to the beach. She remembered running from the beach house she and Justin had rented for their honeymoon, along an isolated stretch on the southern California coastline. It hadn’t taken very long for what she had anticipated to be Heaven turn into hell. They hadn’t been in the cabin for very long. A piece of paper had fallen out of his pocket. She was about to give it back to him when she noticed a woman’s name and phone number on it. She looked at him and by the expression on his face she knew right away this was trouble. She immediately developed a migraine headache. She remembered grabbing a book that was lying on the counter and running and running as far and fast as she could. She eventually became exhausted after about 20 minutes and literally fell onto the soft sand.
Justin had called to her to stop, but he didn’t try to follow her. After laying there for several moments, Marian started reviewing the history of their relationship. They met a year previously. Not long after they met, she started getting migraine headaches. It’s not that she didn’t have them before, but the intensity and frequency increased during the past year. She was also aware that during the past year the thought of Mary Magdalene came to her mind often. In fact she thought that in a previous incarnation she may even have been her. Not that she necessarily believed in reincarnation or was religious in any sense. In fact, she very rarely even attended any church. After she recovered her breath, she looked at the book she grabbed. It was the bible. How funny. She started to laugh. It had been many years since she had read the bible. After a while she felt more relaxed and closed her eyes for a short nap.
Upon opening her eyes, the first thing she saw was mountains. Where could these large mountains possibly have come from. What is going on? They weren’t there when she first lay down. Then she recalled that the last words she remembered reading were from Matthew with Jesus speaking the words: “For most assuredly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” She thought that this passage on faith was possibly the quintessential teaching of Jesus. But where was her faith now? As Marian was lying on the beach pondering her situation, she heard and saw a group of men about a hundred yards away coming towards her. They were wearing biblical type robes and had long black beards and looked just like characters from central casting. One even looked like Jesus. Now the penny dropped. Of course. They are making a movie about the life of Jesus, and the mountains are just a prop.
As they approached she waved to them but they seemed not to notice her. In fact they were animatedly engaged in conversation with each other, mostly with the Jesus character. They seemed to be speaking in a foreign language, and yet somehow she was able to understand what they were talking about. They were only a few feet from her and no one noticed her at all. In fact they walked through her as though she weren’t there. She tried to touch one of them but it was as if he were made of air. She shouted and screamed to no avail. They continued walking down the beach. In her mind she thought she heard Jesus say: “Mary, follow me”, but she really didn’t believe it. Beside her name was Marian not Mary. After a moment when the procession was about 50 yards from where she was, she felt impelled to follow them.
Some how she had been transported back into history some two thousand years. But we’ll let Marian continue in her own words: “This is unreal as though I slipped into the twilight zone. I’m either in a time warp or perhaps I’ve died. Or perhaps this is some sort of out of body experience. My senses all seem to be working. I don’t know what is happening. I don’t recognize anything. It reminds me of the Wizard of Oz movie in which Dorothy is transported via a tornado to some where over the rainbow. Only here nobody can sense my presence. I don’t know what to make of any of this, but for now I’ll just follow them. How utterly strange. I’ve never been very religious except for my early years when I was a teenager. I had given up my formal religious beliefs while still a teenager and now consider myself an agnostic, even though I sometimes believe in reincarnation. Oh well I’ll just tag along and see what develops, since I don’t know what else to do.
“They are going in to a building. I follow them in. They go up a long dark staircase. I feel frightened. I momentarily lose sight of them . The building is totally dark. I don’t have any way to produce light, so I feel my way against the wall. As I ascend it seems to be getting lighter. I must be going into some sort of loft which has windows and skylights. I can hear voices. I reach the top of the staircase, and hear and see the men. They are sitting around a long table. I have a feeling that this is the Last Supper, only they are seated around the table and not all on one side of it as I’ve seen depicted in paintings. Most of them are in a somber mood. Only Jesus is in good spirits. The men sense that something serious is afoot and that they will never be together again. The men express their concerns to Jesus and he just waves his hands and says something like “Not to worry, God is in charge no matter what happens.”
“Several women show up. They are from some sort of catering service, and pile many platters laden with food of all varieties on the table and leave. Jesus blesses the food and takes food from each dish. The other men follow suit. After Jesus tastes the first item he exclaims: ” Wow Peter, you really ought to try this fish, it is delicious.” He takes twelve different items and as he tastes each item he makes a similar comment to each disciple in turn. It is as though he is deliberately trying to lighten the mood as everyone is so upset. Judas is really the most upset, he won’t even eat. Jesus says to him, “Judas eat something for Christ’s sake. You’ll need your strength for what you need to do”. I think he is saying this remark tongue in cheek.
I note that as Jesus picks an item of food and addresses each person, he makes light of the item. Literally. Whatever he touches, light shines forth from it. I watch the disciples’ countenance lighten up as Jesus does this. All except Judas. He keeps getting more and more uptight and finally blurts out : “Jesus, for God’s sake, will you stop with the parlor games already? This is a very serious moment.” Jesus laughs and throws a chicken leg at him. But before Judas can catch it, it turns into a live chicken and flies away. This is the last straw for Judas. He runs from the room. After everyone had eaten Jesus dismisses the remainder and says he needs to meditate for a while.
“After the last one leaves, Jesus looks directly at me and says: “Hello Mary, its been a long time. Thanks for coming.” This totally frightens me. Jesus says: “Don’t be afraid. I sent for you.” There are no accidents. This is all carefully planned out. You may have noticed how I’ve been enjoying each item of food. Well why not. Its the last food I’ll ever eat. We don’t have much time so listen carefully. They’ll be coming for me in a short while. It has to be this way. If I live to a ripe old age, my message of peace, love and joy and especially forgiveness, will be totally lost to antiquity. I have to have a dramatic show biz exit. You were correct about Mary Magdalene. You are her reincarnation. And guess what. Justin is Judas’s reincarnation. You have never forgiven Judas for betraying me. That is why you are together now. You still haven’t forgiven, that is why you still get migraine headaches. However now you have the opportunity to choose again. You know that forgiveness is the key to happiness and also good health. Don’t jump to conclusions about Justin. Go back and listen to him. Trust and faith will settle every problem now.
One last thing Mary… Marian, Judas is only fulfilling his assigned role. The human condition will always need someone or something to project guilt on to. Either another person in the form of anger, or to our own body in the form of illness. The only solution to projection is forgiveness. I can hear them coming for me now. Smile Mary, you’re on God’s candid camera. I’ll see you in your dreams. Listen to me. I will never leave you comfortless.” I hear a commotion outside. There is Judas with a group of soldiers. “There he is” shouted Judas pointing at Jesus. He really does look like Justin, I notice. Judas says to Jesus in a softer voice “You’re still here. I thought I wouldn’t see you again”
“Then all of a sudden I am back on the beach. Every thing is back to normal. I see Justin running toward me. “You’re still here. I thought I wouldn’t see you again. Marian, I love you. I tried to tell you, but you had already gone. That woman is my cousin and she is bringing over a present to us. It was meant to be a surprise. There is no one else in my life. Truly.” We embraced. At this point I felt I had truly forgiven Justin and Judas. After we returned to the cabin and were lying in bed that evening Justin said: “You know Marian, it was the strangest thing, I heard a voice telling me to wait about an hour and then go find you. The voice told me precisely where you would be lying and that all would be forgiven. It seemed that in fact I was being forgiven for something that had occurred a long time ago. Perhaps even in a different lifetime. I don’t know why but I had the strangest sensation that it was Jesus who was directing me to find you”. I smiled and decided not to say anything about the experience I had had. Right after I had forgiven Justin/Judas my migraines cleared up and haven’t returned. Thank you Jesus.”
This spiritual story was written by Alan Dolit , a long time Course in Miracles student/teacher and enjoy writing short stories for the fun of it. He has written around 200 of them, some of which could be considered “spiritual,” and some that might not be.