LOOKING FOR A LIGHTHOUSE
By Susan Luscomb
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
~ Psalm 119:105
Last weekend, I stood before a throng of long-time A.R.E. members at a conference in Massachusetts alongside John Van Auken, speaking about the Cayce Work. As usual, I was virtually the “youngest” A.R.E. member in the room. Just a short time before (in A.R.E. time), I had known nothing of Edgar Cayce, and rarely came to Virginia Beach, Va., as I was too busy with my estate planning law practice. What happened? What led me to change career paths? More importantly, how did I end up in the enviable position of traveling with Charles Thomas Cayce, Kevin Todeschi, and John Van Auken, A.R.E.’s best and brightest, when I was so new to the Cayce work? What could I possibly offer to folks who have been members since I was in college?
Like many A.R.E. members, I have been a life-long spiritual seeker. My path began in the church, but after many years teaching Bible study, reading voraciously on my own, and even working with a personal spiritual advisor, I was still wandering. In my search for personal spiritual growth, I always had my eye out for a beacon I could look toward as a destination. I thought perhaps studying theology would help me find the answers that had thus far eluded me and left the puzzle of my “beliefs” incomplete with pieces I couldn’t find and tenets I couldn’t wholeheartedly embrace. It might also launch me in a new direction that I intuitively knew I was intended to take and had sought for years; one that would take me away from law practice, but toward what? I had told friends I was still interested in the law, but more interested in the law of a “higher power.” So, I started a seminary program in Richmond, Va., while still practicing law: the Masters in Divinity degree was to serve as my lighthouse.
I was on the verge of stepping up the pace of my studies when a friend said one sentence to me that changed everything. She had been a close friend from church for over 10 years, someone I respected tremendously for her faith both in words and in action. What she said to me was this: “You’ll not find what you’re looking for there, but I believe I know where you will find it.” She invited me to a conference at A.R.E. Headquarters, asked me to keep an open mind, and brought me to hear John Van Auken speak. It was immediately obvious to me that she was right. That conference was a definite turning point in my life.
Charles Thomas Cayce speaking at the A.R.E.
Over the course of the next six months, I read non-stop about all things Cayce, attended conferences, and began accumulating those missing puzzle pieces. Surprisingly, what I was learning didn’t supplant my Christian teachings—if anything, it clarified the life and role of Christ, strengthened my basic beliefs, opened my mind, and brought meaning to the Bible in ways I had never expected. It was, in a word, enlightening. It simply made sense, it felt right and true.
I’ve learned a lot in a short period of time, but I realize I have far to go. That’s okay for now. I continue to grow—thanks to members around the country that I have the good fortune to meet and to my fellow staff—now my path is one of spiritual growth and understanding. One important lesson I’ve learned is the truth of the Scripture quoted above from Psalms. I had spent much of my adult life searching for a beacon, that lighthouse shining at my ultimate destination, showing me exactly where I was supposed to go, rather than paying attention to the lamp at my feet taking me to the next step on the path, trusting that, step by step, my life purpose would be revealed to me, in God’s time, not mine. Along the way, I hope to be a channel of blessings, now, today, to those that I contact in every way, and I hope to help A.R.E. to enable others to do the same through its life-changing work.
Susan Luscomb, J.D., brings over thirty years of legal practice, including speaking, writing, and teaching as an Adjunct Professor at the Law School at William & Mary, to her position as A.R.E.’s Senior Development Officer. Until 2011, Susan was an estate planning attorney practicing in Williamsburg, Va., with significant experience in real estate, family law, and litigation. She is now using her estate planning experience for the benefit of A.R.E. and its members, and she is uniquely positioned to offer guidance about a wide variety of estate planning and related issues, including charitable and gift planning. You can contact Susan at Susan.Luscomb@edgarcayce.org.