In the past few weeks, TV has bought us many amazing interviews — Dan Rather spoke with Saddam Hussein, Barbara Walters quizzed Robert Blake and Martin Bashir revealed the many faces of Michael Jackson.
But get ready, because next week, husband-and-wife psychic team Craig and Jane Hamilton-Parker will interview the “late” Princess Diana from some spiritually remote location.
This seance by satellite is a chilling channeling on Pay-Per-View performed by our psychic duo as they retrace the fatal route Princess Di’s limo took through the Paris tunnel. If drivers are taking a risk talking on cell phones, I can’t imagine how risky it could be talking to the dead while driving. Hopefully, they did it on a “closed track with a professional driver.”
Of course, I’m not much for talking to the dead. It’s not that I’m trying to snub them, I just think relating to the living has enough difficulties. However, I’ll admit I’ve had a bit of a problem talking to the dead myself lately. Not so much dead people — although my headphone-clad teenagers might qualify. No, the kind of dead man I’m speaking of is something most of us can relate to — those ongoing conversations with the deadening hurt of past experiences.
Each time I relive these past hurts in my mind, it’s like I initiate a dialogue with issues that should be dead.
“There’s no way!” I blurted out into a bedroom I assumed to be vacant. “You were so wrong to accuse me of that! I thought you were my friend!”
“What?” came my wife’s voice from the walk-in closet. (Author’s note: Nothing will make you jump higher after speaking to the dead than hearing an audible answer.)
“Oh, nothing, dear.”
“Who are you talking to?”
She knew “who.” She had heard the conversations before. I was caught carrying on a seance of sorts with demons of my past. I’m talking about demons with names such as bushwhacked, waylaid, back-stabbed, slandered, deceived, etc., all especially hurtful if they are channeled through a friend. Meanwhile, after hearing my little mono-debate, my wife emerged from the closet to suggest I contact our pastor.
That was a problem because I was the pastor. It was bad enough talking to my past, but talking to me about talking to my past could get me locked up. The best person I know that fit that “pastoral” role wasn’t me — it was my wife’s father, Wil.
So, that’s how it happened that Wil, myself and our wives found ourselves standing in a seance circle of sorts. And Wil began to read something he had written for me called “A Litany for When Deeply Hurt.”
“Because,” he began, “there are pains that do not heal as physical pain does with time, surgery or medication; we engage now in this spiritual covenant in anticipation — now or soon — of eventual healing of our spirit.”
He told us that “our gathering was in recognition of the fact that the deeper the hurt, the longer the journey — whether in minutes, hours or days — to that healing destination brought about by forgiveness and release.”
In my liturgical response I sought an accountability of a spiritual connection. I promised to enter “this covenant as if I were beginning a brand new journey.”
My covenant with my family was to begin moving in a healing direction — “perhaps not as fast as some would demand, but slowly and daily I promised to release and surrender some part of this cumbersome weight.”
The liturgy concluded with my acknowledgement of “God’s ability to deal with those involved and I know that he will continue to lead me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Our “seance” with the past was my first deliberately corporate step toward ceasing to name these demons. Without names, they might still have a place, but they needn’t dominate any longer. I’ve always told my congregants that “I live where you live. I walk where you walk.” And even though this moment was presenting a powerful example of what I had told them, I was resistant to acknowledge the power I had given this demon — after all, “a man of God.”
That “seance” with past hurts worked no magic, and goodness knows my father-in-law is no psychic. He has a great head of hair and refuses to wear the turban. However, the experience has given me a touchstone in my daily struggle to give up the so-called “rights” I tend to attach to my hurts. And as my Alanon friend reminds me, “Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?”