Eight years ago, I elected to have Lasik eye surgery to correct my vision. One of my younger family members, an adult nephew, said he would be too afraid to ever have the surgery. This nephew is devoted to his religion—frequently praying for others, going to church twice a week, and volunteering at every church function. So I was really surprised by his comment. I told him that I was afraid but if something were to happen at least my eyes would be numbed! And I thought to myself, if I became blind, I would accept it. And it was at that moment that I really realized how my faith had changed since my youth.
When I was a child, I had a very rudimentary idea of what it meant to have faith. I thought that if you had faith, then, like my nephew, you were a religious person. And if you were “good” about your faith, “good” things would happen to you.
But then my father died. Wasn’t my dad a good person? Wasn’t my mom, who was suffering his loss, a good person? And what about me, and the rest of my siblings? I was the youngest of seven just shy of nine years old; did any lack of faith on my part cause my father’s death? Of course not. I didn’t believe it then. I don’t believe it now. It was the first step in the maturity of my faith.
I discovered Edgar Cayce in my 20s, when I began working at A.R.E. Just a few years later, I had to have unexpected open-heart surgery to correct a congenital condition. During this trying period, there were moments of light. My coworkers at A.R.E. all pitched in their vacation time so that I could continue to get paid during my recovery. This gave me a kind of faith in humanity that I frequently look back on as a reminder of the good in all of us.
A few years after my surgery, my mom died. Here, again, was an opportunity for me to lose faith. But in reality, the experiences surrounding my mom’s death only served to strengthen my faith. While lying in her hospital bed, my mom saw angels. My sister had been singing her the lyrics, “There are angels all around us,” and as soon as she mentioned the angels, my mom interrupted her by pointing to the ceiling of her hospital room and exclaiming that she could see them.
During all of these challenging times, I could turn to Cayce’s readings for spiritual nuggets of wisdom, soul food, I like to say. So when I read,
“For there is no death … only the change in the consciousness …”
-- Edgar Cayce reading 2147-1
“Keep thy faith in that which is good. For good alone lives, ever”
-- Edgar Cayce reading 2537-1
then I had faith that the souls of my parents lived on.
Ten years ago, I started reading snippets from the readings on a daily basis. Edgar Cayce (A.R.E.) had joined Facebook (Facebook. com/edgarcayce), and I wanted to make sure we offered our Page’s followers a reading quote every day. In order to do that, I would read from the tiny (yet powerful) booklet Think on These Things and make my selections to post that day, or I would go into the online readings database and search for messages that I thought would bring help and hope to those who read them. Because social media is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, I did this every day, including weekends.
In my daily search for the best of the best to share with others, I was given a rock-solid foundation that has brought more strength to my faith than I ever thought possible.
When my eye surgery approached, I was nervous, and my body was literally shaking that morning. Because my faith didn’t tell me that I would not be harmed. It didn’t give me a magic charm to keep me safe. What it gave me was the knowing that no matter what happened, I would be okay. And if the surgery was, for some reason, unsuccessful, and the worst-case scenario actually occurred, and I was blinded, then life would go on. And I would adapt to my new life knowing I had lessons to learn and a purpose to fulfill, because I had faith.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that no one’s life is free of tragedy. Every family experiences death, illness, accidents, and a myriad of other challenges. But it’s not what happens to us that counts—it’s how we respond to what’s happening to us.
Cayce often talked about turning stumbling blocks into stepping-stones, and in this reading he suggests that stepping-stones are a part of the lesson of faith:
“Then should come the lesson of FAITH, that is as one of the stepping-stones in balancing self …”
-- Edgar Cayce reading 262-13
The readings often suggest that we understand the source of our faith and apply it in our life as our ideal.
“KNOW in what thou has believed, and WHERE thy faith has been placed.”
-- Edgar Cayce reading 262-18
“In Whom has thou believed? What is the source of thy faith, of thy hope? And then—so live, so act among others, that ye are a living example of that ye believe.”
-- Edgar Cayce reading 1755-3
This same reading further suggests that this is the purpose of life, to “manifest thy concept of God.”
Perhaps the simplest way Cayce put it was to:
“Keep the faith that opens the door to Him.”
-- Edgar Cayce reading 262-30
This blog is Lesson 4 of our 2018 Enlightenment Series. Members can access all of the available material, which also includes an online video and downloadable monthly practice with homework, in the member-only section of our website at EdgarCayce.org/members. Not a member? Join now.