The Day The Sun Went Out
I love the feeling of the sun on my face. Not in the sense of a hot beach, lying on a towel, baking in the heat with sweat pouring, wondering how much more I can stand. But in the way that it feels more like a kiss from the Divine. Whether it’s in a moment, sitting next to the window and feeling the warm rays touch my face, or outside as I walk to the spot in my yard where I do Tai Chi, I always take a moment to feel it and breathe it in. Even when I’m riding in the car and the sun angles in just right, I’ll close my eyes and let the light bathe me. I can’t help but smile in those moments.
When I lived in the middle of Nashville – one block from music row – my office and keyboard were in a room with 8 windows. It was a corner room with 4 windows on each outside wall. It was a bright room with lots of light. One afternoon at about 3:00pm, I walked into my office, not knowing that my life was about to change dramatically. In an instant, I suddenly felt the Presence of God disappear. It was as if someone had turned off a light switch. It was that fast. There are people who say, “We all turn our backs on God at one time or another, and can’t feel Him,” but this was very different. In that moment, I cried out, “What just happened?! Where are YOU?! God, where are YOU?!” I was panicked. I felt terrified and lost. I didn’t understand what was happening. “Please! Please God, help me!! WHERE DID YOU GO?!”
At that moment, the phone rang. I KNEW it was God answering me. I wouldn’t have picked it up for any other reason.
“Hello?!” I asked in a shaky voice.
It was my husband, Rusty.
“Are you okay?” he asked. “I’m not sure why I called, I think because I wanted to check to see what time Eric’s haircut is, but I know when it is, so that’s not it. Are you okay?”
“No, I’m not,” still shaking and panicked. “I can’t feel God. It’s like He’s just disappeared. I’m so scared.”
“I’ll be right there.”
No hesitation. He believed me and he was coming to help me. In essence, it was an answered prayer.
This feeling of the absence of God lasted for 3 months. Words cannot adequately express the magnitude of emptiness this feeling was. I pray that I never have to feel it again. It was true hell. I believed that God was still with me. I knew that He was watching over me, but I could not feel Him. I imagined what death would be like, and there would be no relief. The image that came to me was my consciousness floating in empty space – pure darkness – a void like nothing I’ve ever felt before. There was absolutely nothing; no reason for dying or living. There was simply no escaping it. I know with certainty, that there is nothing else that can compare to this agony.
This happened before my daughters were born. I was grateful, because the dark cloud that hung around me would have been difficult for them. Rusty was incredibly supportive. I wrote in my journal every morning, and he gave me the time and space to do that. He knew it was important that I had that uninterrupted time to process what I was going through.
There were a few times that I was given compassionate “winks” from God, letting me know He was still with me. One of the great gifts I received when I met Rusty, was learning about Meher Baba, who claims to be the Avatar of the Age. He lived in India, and “dropped His body” in 1969. He kept silence for over 40 years, stating that “You’ve had enough words, it’s time to live them.” He wrote books by using an alphabet board and sign language with His close disciples. I have had some incredible experiences in regards to my relationship with Meher Baba that I will share another time. Suffice it to say that He had become my Spiritual Guide. He is the vehicle that God worked through to give me the winks that He was with me.
For example, one morning when I was journaling, tears were flowing down my face. I was writing about how much I missed Him, and wished that I could get a hug from Him. Rusty knocked on the door at that moment. He never knocked on my door – he never interrupted my journaling. I thought, “He’s come to give me a hug!” “Come in!” I excitedly cried. “Are you here to give me a hug?!”
“No, I mean, I will, but not now, I have to show you something. I’m sorry to interrupt you, but you have to see this.”
He took my hand and led me to the room where my piano was. I had a framed picture of Meher Baba on top my upright piano. The sun’s rays were coming through the blinds at a perfect angle, and were lighting up the picture like a spotlight. It was stunning. The light only hit the picture. It took my breath away.
“Now I’ll give you that hug,” Rusty said. But I knew it was God, who was hearing my heart as I was journaling. I received the hug while that picture was being completely doused in the sunlight. It was less than a minute, but I’ll remember that hug forever.
Another time, Rusty and I were having a discussion about the word, “lackadaisical”. I was talking about how I felt lacksadaisical, and he said, “I think it’s “lackadaisical, there’s no s.” All my life I had said lacksadaisical, and I was sure it had the s. It turned into a really big discussion, and we didn’t have a dictionary to look it up. This was before we had email and Google was barely a thought in someone’s mind. We decided we would look it up next time we were near a dictionary.
That night, we went to meet someone who had spent a lot of time with Meher Baba. His name was Don Stevens, and he had just written a book called “Some Results”. He was from France, and was touring the United States – traveling to different Meher Baba gatherings to share stories from his book. Rusty and I realized on our way there, that the host was a writer, and he had a dictionary! In fact, he had a HUGE dictionary that he kept in the living room on a big wooden pedestal. I was so driven to find out if I was right about the spelling, that as soon as we got in the doorway, I went straight to that dictionary. Don Steven’s book was on the opened dictionary. It was lying on the right side and had a picture of Meher Baba looking in the direction of the other page. My heart was racing. The dictionary was open to the “L’s.” There, on top of the page, the very first word, in bold, was “lackadaisical”. What were the odds of this dictionary that was at least 4 inches thick, was opened to the page AND it was the word in big letters ON TOP, with Meher Baba looking in that direction. Clearly, someone had been listening to me, and was letting me know they were there. And for those of you who are asking – Rusty spelled it right. I was wrong. But at that point, I didn’t care. I felt safe and happy for the moment.
The Presence returned in a similar way that it left. I walked into my office, the same room that I felt it leave, and was headed for my keyboard. I saw the light come through the window and shine on the piano bench. I sat down and faced the sun and felt it warm up my face. As the light bathed me, I felt that familiar love begin to fill me. The relief was like a drink of water in the desert. I sat there a long time. That night, we went to a very special party. Our very dear friend had gotten divorced, and sold her half of the house to her husband. She took only a few possessions, and decided to travel the world for a year and see where she would land. She was having the party to say goodbye. Her story is fascinating. When she was 3 years old, she had an image of being the “queen of the party” and sitting on her throne, all the people there told her how much they loved her. This was that party. She sat in her chair, and we sat on the floor in front of her, due to the missing furniture. She radiated with the love that flowing toward her as we spoke our hearts one at a time. I noticed that she was receiving all of the love, and then it flowed out back in a circular rhythm, showering all of us multiplied. This is how I became refilled and reconnected. And the connection was much deeper than it had been before it left. It’s as if my heart had been emptied, and made room for so much more love. This was a gift I knew that could only be given by God.
The sun has more meaning to me since that experience. I know in my heart, the sun is much more than a star that warms the planet. It also fills us with a special kind of love. How? I have no idea. I just know that it’s true.