While I was photographing an editorial piece on factory child labor in India, I had walked into a store in a small town north of Bangalore. I was only in there ten minutes when I heard a man, who looked like the owner, command the workers to shut and lock the door and draw the curtains. I looked around and realized I was the only female in there, me and five men.
What happened next is challenging to put into words, as most spiritual or divine experiences are. I stood near a shelf of scarves, scrutinizing the men who were all lasciviously eying me. Sweat pearled on my forehead and in my hands and I felt lightheaded and nauseous. My heart beat so loud I thought the men could hear it. It was as though I was wearing a stethoscope, the sound of my heart pulsating drowned out their words.Then, the pressure of the air shifted around me, becoming dense yet electric, comparable to how it felt the night I saw the warrior and when the man was in my room. A calming sensation came over me and I heard words in my mind, yet the voice was not my own, say, ‘Go tell the man sitting at the desk about your father’s illness.’ I didn’t hesitate as I had no alternative plan.
I walked over to the desk and sat across from the man and said, “My father just had a heart attack and I’m not sure he’s going to live.” The man’s eyebrows lifted and he said, “Your father! The father is everything. The mother is nothing but the father, yes, he is most important.”
I told him how distressed I was and how much I loved my dad. How hard it was to be away from him and what a good father he was to me. The man looked at the other men and said, “We’re letting her go. Unlock the door.”
I bolted out the door and ran to the hotel. I sat down on the bed and tried to calm my heart. I still felt a warm presence. The experience exhausted me and even though my nerves were sizzled from the adrenaline, I eventually laid down and fell asleep. Right before I nodded off I thought I heard the words, “You will be okay. All is well.”
e to edit.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
And amidst the chaos
Keep Peace within your soul-Max Ehrman
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