Gifted

One of my maternal great uncles was a gifted healer; what in many cultures would be called a prophet or shaman, he had no specific religious affiliation and spoke of God in many forms. It wasn’t until much later in my life that I realized he was a man of great renown. Of course growing up with him in my life, although I knew he was unique and incredibly important to me, I did not see what those from the outside saw. He guided me and kept me safe. I was very unwell through my early years and he would always turn up with freshly caught fish in hand for my mother and he would heal me and teach me how to remain well.

In his later years (at 70) my uncle ended up spending many years in jail. He was accused of a crime that I know he did not commit, how do I know? Because he taught me some of the most important lessons of my life I know his spirit and it was just not possible for him to have committed this crime, it would have been against everything he stood for. His, our, family abandoned him. I was forbidden to see him or talk to him. I was a young teenager at the time. The man who had for all my years of life been caring for me and teaching me had been demonized. The insincerity that there were others within the family that had committed far worse crimes living freely, unpunished and kept close within the family meant that I withdrew myself from these people. Including my parents. The ban on contact/communication was so strong that when I asked my mother a few years later how he was because I couldn’t sense him anymore she looked at me oddly and said he was dead.

A few years after his death I had a chance encounter with his closest friend a man I had never met. A friend and I were on a trip and she asked if we could stop off to visit her spiritual mentor. He was a prophet or channel of sorts; my uncle had been his mentor. We arrived and I sat apart to let my friend have her time with the man. Suddenly he asked me why I was there. It was a rhetorical question with deeper meaning than “I am here because my friend and I are sharing a car ride”. He then asked me directly what Frank meant to me. I was surprised but explained that he had been my great uncle. He rose and went to get something. When he returned he told me that my uncle had served great purpose during his time in jail. The hardest, most violent and disturbed criminals were put in with Frank and his presence and way of being calmed them and changed them. He handed me a poem my uncle wrote when he was in jail and said that he believed it was for me. He then went on to tell me all that I had not known about my uncle and he reminded me that Frank had never forgotten me.

 Although I had never doubted my uncle I hated that he had been accused and found guilty of a crime. I hated that my family had ostracized him partially for what he was and then because of what he was accused of. It was like they had agreed that they had always thought that he was ‘evil’ or ‘strange’ and here was the justification. It planted a seed of fear within me that if we use our gifts the light we create draws the darkness to it. I had felt it in my own life over and over. The brighter I burned the more darkness found me. I could see that people were afraid of me, or what I represented for them. So I doused the light and donned a myriad of masks to hide behind. As I lift the veils that shroud me I feel so much pain my heart cannot bear it but I must allow myself to feel it so that the capacity for love that I have within me can shine. I cannot remain in hiding anymore. The thought that clearly came to me today, as I realized this and started to let my heart open to the deep hurt within me, was of my uncle and his poem:

Light in the Cell

And a light shined in my cell

And there was not any wall

And there was no dark at all

Only Thou, Immanuel.

Light of love shined in the cell

Turned to gold the iron bars

Opened windows to the stars

Peace stood there as sentinel.

Dearest Lord, how can it be

That thou art so kind to me?

Love is shining in my cell

Jesus, my Immanuel.

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6 comments on “Gifted

  1. jayne says:

    I’m saddened to hear your loss of a relationship with such a person, yet, having a great teacher of a similar ideology, I’m sure you know that the relationship exists whether you’re together or apart. I’m still sorry to hear this because it sounds like a loss. It also sounds like great, great love and that is an incredible gift. xo, Jayne

    • Thank you Jayne. He paved the way, from my experiences with him, for many other teachers in my life. I have been deeply blessed in that regard. My thoughts of him were so strong today I do not doubt that he is still with me 🙂 xo

  2. mrmodigliani says:

    Errant, I cannot let this post slide by without saying something. This poem is an extraordinary testament to the love between you and your uncle and the great poetic spirituality that exists within you and your family. The poem itself is a mournful song straight from the soul of a wise, loving man who carries you in his spirit eternally.

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