When I was twenty my life had unraveled to the point of massive self-destruction. As a last resort, I went into a treatment center with the hopes of saving my life. I was newly sober and recovering from a life riddled with drugs, alcohol, self-loathing, and recklessness. Suffice it to say, through a series of miracles I was given my life back and had a powerful spiritual awakening that opened my eyes not only to the existence of God but also opened me to my heart and the infinite possibilities that my life still held for me. A part of that process for the last eighteen years has been creating a life that fulfills my calling and is always evolving as I spiritually mature and grow. Another part is to own the gifts I have been blessed with and use them.
Owning a house was part of my personal dream. A place to call my own and which would be an environment that spoke to me and represented a part of who I am. Five years ago, I achieved that dream. My home is an important haven for me. It is a place to work, to nourish myself, to play, to rest, and to reflect, among other things. In my home, my bedroom serves as my little space to escape, when necessary, from the world around me and into the world within me. Never could I have predicted the series of events that were to unfold in my place of slumber and renewal.
On this particular night, I was reflecting on the words and thoughts of Jesus. I am not prone to do this, mostly because I am neither Christian nor am I particularly what one might call “religious.” But, from my powerful experience in early recovery up to now, I consider myself spiritual and open to different perspectives and the gifts and possibilities that the world has to offer. In fact, my business partner, who is a religious woman in seminary for her master’s degree in theology, and I had been discussing a book project for us to write utilizing the Bible as a resource.
Though open-minded, I was indeed a self-proclaimed neophyte when it came to the teachings and life of Jesus. I have a lot to learn through my own studies and from the insights of those more knowledgeable than I.
I had recently befriended a man by the name of Nick Bunick, the subject of the best-selling book The Messengers. Nick claims to be have been Paul the Apostle at the time of Jesus. One of the main messages of Nick’s work is centered around the importance and value of angels or guides in our lives. This idea is complemented by the apparent connection for many to the number four, more specifically the number 444. Seemingly there is a connection between angelic events and these numbers, with them being synchronized, such as when one sees the number in print or on television, and something angelic, eventful, or magical happens in our lives. Well, I had never to my knowledge encountered a “444 experience.”
As I lay in my bed that night, not able to sleep and with the thoughts of Jesus running through my head, I had a crystal clear message course through my being. I was given a name of a book (which I will not share here since I have not decided yet to write it) and a clear understanding of the ultimate message of Jesus. Now, this in and of itself isn’t odd due to the fact that a lot of what I do is idea development. Ideas come flying through and to me anytime and all the time. But, I was struck by the clarity of this idea and rather befuddled that I was receiving it due to my ignorance of Jesus beyond the basics that many people know and share.
I eventually fell asleep around 2 am, with this new concept and understanding branded in my consciousness and psyche. As I floated away in dreamland I was awakened by a gentle touch, a rocking, not unlike how a mother would wake her children without startling them. As I awoke to this nudging, no one was there, which was a relief given that I live alone. I then remained quiet for a few moments to see if I had arisen to any danger or perhaps to something happening outside.
Nothing. I reached for my clock to see what time it was but was quickly reminded that it wasn’t there because I had brought it to Nick Bunick’s spiritual symposium in case he needed in on the podium during his lecture a few days earlier. I then looked to my watch, which I had not removed, and it was still glowing because I had not been asleep long. The time? Four o’clock.
Not 3:59 or 4:01 but 4:00 am. Mind you it wasn’t a 444 experience, but it was a four. I’ll take what I can get!
I lay there in amazement and looked toward the door not far from the foot of my bed. The bedroom door, which had been shut, had opened slightly and there was a brilliant illumination of beautiful blue light emanating from its border. I felt no fear as I laid back, open to what to was unfolding. I looked up to my ceiling and, in an instant, a flash of glorious, mesmerizing blue light streaked through my room, and then again once more, before it dissipated into the darkness.
I regained my breath and centered myself. What had just happened? I realized that I had just had a powerful and moving experience. The stillness was overwhelming as I listened to my heart and tried to catch one of the million thoughts whizzing through my mind. I endeavored to go to sleep, chomping at the bit to share my story with friends and colleagues the next day.
In the morning, I immediately shared what had happened with my business partner Cyndi who is a gifted intuitive and healer. She said she thought I had been visited by Jesus or Archangel Michael. The same conclusion was reached by the metaphysician and author of the book Angel Therapy, Doreen Virtue, who shared with me that the color blue was sometimes indeed indicative of Archangel Michael. Nick Bunick himself thought this was a visit from Jesus. And as I continued to share my story the same feedback poured in, only reinforcing my belief that I did indeed have a visitation of some kind. Hmmm. Why the undeniable visit? Why this intense dramatic event? Why in my bedroom?
A couple of months later, with the aforementioned event behind me but forever with me, I experienced yet another event in the same bedroom which gave me another great pause. I was preparing for a seminar called “What’s Your Calling” that Cyndi and I teach through our business injoi Productions.
I was extremely tired and overwhelmed and, least of all, feeling up to the ardor of leading a day-long seminar. I was dreading the next morning and fell asleep with visions of a challenging day ahead. When I awoke, I stumbled into my bathroom in a fog. As I stared blankly into the mirror through my sleepy haze, I saw several prominent red marks blazoned across my chest. I quickly checked my whole body, looking to see if I had gotten a rash or insect bite, hives, or whatever. But I hadn’t. These weird red marks were localized to my chest. As I looked more closely I couldn’t figure out from where these odd random splotches had come.
Then, as my eyes got a little clearer, I realized that there were five marks and that they were not random at all. These strange marks with white spots seemed to have a pattern, a familiar one at that. I placed my hand closer to my chest. One, two, three, four marks close together. And then one slightly farther away. A handprint! There was a huge handprint, bigger than my own, situated upon my chest with the center of the palm across my heart. I raced for my camera in an attempt to take some photos at arm’s length, praying for some documentation of this unbelievable sight.
Upon this revelation, I hurried to meet Cyndi at the healing center where we were to present our seminar and shared my news as I pulled up my shirt to show her my new cosmic tattoo. To my dismay, the handprint was no longer there. Gone. It had vanished as quickly as it had appeared. But, as I spoke of the miraculous circumstances, she told me that she believed it was the hand of God. I eventually concurred with Cyndi, as I had struggled to no avail for another explanation.
It felt so amazing to have had these special moments shared with me. I am not alone. I believe we all have our “special” moments of grace, lucidity, and knowingness. Sometimes the messages are quiet and understated, sometimes it takes a handprint on one’s chest to get it. But however they are delivered, it is important to listen. Listen to the personal message available to each of us.
In my experience, I see these moments as personal conversations with God, reminders that when I go to those places of forgetfulness–and sometimes get lost amidst the clutter and chaos of my life–there will always be a beacon of light to lead me back to a personal path of self. Different so-called lights for different people for different reasons. Maybe it’s in the form of Jesus, or a loved one, maybe a blue light or a handprint, a voice or an image. It doesn’t matter as long as you pay attention. Sometimes it might be a gentle nudge, sometimes a loud bang. In my case, a handprint etched upon my chest. Hard to miss the point.
We must keep our literal and figurative eyes open. Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are meaningful messages catching us in a readied state and it doesn’t matter if they are real or imagined. What matters is what we can take away as the gift.
This was a helpful reminder that the spiritual awakening I’d had eighteen years earlier, and the ensuing and continued recovery of self, was no fluke. And that, through the challenges of life and in the face of fear, I can re-connect with myself, God, and the universe. I must remember that in the sanctuary of my bedroom, in the quiet of my being, I have a remarkable place, a room with a view. A room with a view that reflects the best in me and in all of us. A mystical room that has on occasion offered me gifts of love and gentle reminders to have continued faith and to remain true to myself. And on occasion a welcome night’s sleep.
© Anthony J.W. Benson All Rights Reserved
From the bestselling book More Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul (Plume)