Being a Marriage Celebrant puts me in very good positions where I can offer assistance in certain cases. Though I do hold numerous titles as I have mentioned, and do use these solely for the benefit of others and definitely not just for show. For I believe if that was the case then these titles I definitely would not have been given.
Ten years back Swami (Sathya Sai Baba) came into my dream, He was walking towards me in the distance with a very BIG smile. As He walked towards me He was swinging His arms showing me that He was very happy and playful. In His right hand He held a large brown envelope. The next day a large brown envelope came by courier ... it was a legal document from the Attorney General's Department telling me that I have been accepted to be sworn in as a Justice of the Peace. This was just one legal office I gained as numerous others followed.
All these Swami bestowed upon me for the benefit of helping others … in which I do as best I can while dedicating all my acts to Him.
I am a member with a certain Association based on the outskirts of Sydney Australia, one which I won’t mention by name as I don’t believe its relevant here. This Marriage Celebrant Association has created a Blog where they have asked for strange and wonderful stories from its celebrant members, stories concerning weddings and funerals etc. I have just recently began telling a story of an experience I had with a certain couple.
In the story I posted, I tried to show the pleasure one gets when offering help (free of charge) to those who are in desperate need of assistance. In so doing, I always pray that inspiration be given to those reading my stories, and that they too may do what’s best for others and not just for what’s best for themselves.
Because this Association website is (not) a spiritual website, I dared not mention anything on a supernatural basis, so instead I had to keep it on a low par (so to speak). I give this story here solely for the very same reason why I give it at all, LOVE ... as well as to inspire others in doing service for those who are in desperate needs.
I hope you enjoy this story:
I was sitting in my office putting together a wedding ceremony when suddenly my phone rang. The voice was softly spoken and that of a male. His first words were, hello can you help me please. I responded back by saying, if I can, of course, what can I do for you. The male voice went on to describe the help needed. Apparently he has been living with his girlfriend for many years and they have three children together. He went on to say that his partner has brain cancer and hasn’t got long to live. Her wish is for us to marry before her end comes.
He then asked if I would be willing to marry them. Immediately I said let me come to your address and we will discuss it. Within the hour I was knocking on his door. The door opened revealing a man in his early forties, with a smile and a gesture of his hand he invited me in.
Thank you for coming so quickly, he said. Then he lead me into his partner’s bedroom. I was struck with a silent “gasp,” lying in bed was a blonde woman who looked much like a skeleton. Her age I couldn’t tell because of her appearance. The man told me that I was the third marriage celebrant he had contacted. I asked him why was that. He said; as soon as I mentioned my partners illness they then ask if she’s taking any heavy medications such as morphine. When I tell them yes she is they flatly refuse. They say she wouldn’t know what she was doing, not being in the right frame of mind when signing legal documents, and it is against the law to accept a signature on a legal document when under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, even if its (medication).
I went back into the bedroom and spoke with the woman while all the time saying under my breath, (God Bless you darling) because of her physical appearance. Then I asked her if she wanted to be married to (name withheld) yes she replied, very much so. OK I said, it will be my pleasure to solemnise your marriage. This brought a faint smile to her dear face one that I enjoyed very much because I then leaned across and gave a little kiss on her cheek.
Together we filled out the appropriate paper work, signed, witnessed and dated it. Then next morning we contacted the doctor and got a letter from him stating all the facts. With letter in hand along with the legal form, we went to speak with Births, Deaths and Marriages (which is a government body) - to seek a (Shortening Of Time) from a prescribed authority.
Law in Australia is you cannot marry before (1) month and (1) day, unless you have a very good substantial reason, in which she certainly did have, she was dying and didn’t have long to live. Everything went through satisfactory and permission was given. Now they were able to organise the wedding on whatever day they wished.
I received a phone call next morning from the male partner saying: I’ve been in contact with the doctor and he suggests that my fiancé be given chemotherapy the day before the wedding, this will give her some strength to see it through.
The wedding was to be in three days time. The ceremony was to be held next to Lake Illawarra, nestling in between trees and calm waters. I got there early as usual and waited with the groom and his groomsmen. I played soft calming music while roughly close to a hundred people waited for the brides arrival. The sister of the bride told me that (Bride ) will be a little late due to the sickness caused by the chemotherapy.
No problems I said, I have no other engagements. Then about 30 minutes on I heard someone yell out here she comes. I quickly started playing her chosen Entry music, then appealed to all the guests to ready their cameras. The car comes to a stop, the bride is lifted out and placed in a wheel chair, then the father begins pushing his beautiful daughter towards her groom who was eagerly waiting.
The music as well as the bride brought everyone to tears, and I also had a tear in my eye. It was at that particular moment that everything was highly uplifted. Quickly wiping my eyes I straightened myself and prepared to join them in marriage. The wedding ceremony went close to 20 minutes and it went off beautifully. Two weeks later she died peacefully at home with her loving husband and three children by her side.
The only thing I was not happy with is the conduct from the other two marriage celebrants. It seems they refused on the grounds that it may cause a little inconvenience. Shame on them both. Let me just finally say that there are many out there who are in dire straits of no fault of their own. “We,” whether celebrants or not, must at all times (not) only think of ourselves but of those who ask for help. Never knock back opportunities because it is opportunities such as these that make better people of us all. This wedding I solemnised I did absolutely free of charge, and I will do it again and again if need be, (in which I certainly have done many times). If you can get pleasure out of helping others then you are in the right business. But one must not think only of helping others while holding titles or even expecting rewards, we must ALL do our very best for others at all times no matter how limited we may be or think we may be. We can only try, and that is enough in itself in winning God’s Grace. And then again if you don’t believe in God but still do good to others when you see the need, then this is enough to win you grace, even if you don’t realise it at the time. It all comes down to being good and doing good.
And don’t forget, these opportunities are given us as wonderful tests to see if we are worthy of Grace. In helping others without expectation of the reward in return, we are then storing good karma and later when we are in need ourselves, the help will certainly come to our aid.
Now I would like to tell of the wonderful experience of Love I was given by the bride after her death. She had a great need to thank me for what I did before she moved on.
It was two weeks later when I received a phone call from the husband informing me of his wife’s passing. I thought he may have asked me to do the funeral service, but apparently all the arrangements were taken care of before I came into the picture. He did ask if I was going to the funeral, and I answered "yes" of course." When I arrived on the day I was overwhelmed by the large crowd that had gathered. The chapel was packed to capacity which caused many to stand outside in groups huddled together waiting to hear the words of the minister.
As I looked around I could see she was loved by many as they were all here on this day showing their respects. Then I gathered my thoughts together in trying to work out a proper way to get myself inside to hear the service … as where I stood it looked quite impossible because of the crowd.
I could then hear that the service had just begun, and at that precise moment an overwhelming urge came over me to get myself inside even knowing it may be impossible. I walked to the entrance as close as possible hoping to slip inside somehow, the last thing I wanted to do was to cause a disturbance by having to push my way through. So I began nudging forward ever so slowly, squeezing in between those in front until finally with some gentle effort I found myself inside standing shoulder to shoulder with many others.
From where I stood I scanned the large room at the many sad faces, then I heard the minister begin the Lord’s Prayer and all fell silent, except for the occasional sob coming from different areas in the room.
I looked to my right and noticed many in seats wiping away tears, then I looked to my left and noticed (ONE) empty chair five rows over. Why is that chair empty I thought? Surely it can be seen by those who are standing in such extreme conditions. It was very warm and stuffy because of the packed room and to sit would be a great relief. I stayed in my position for possibly another (5) minutes while all the time glancing back to the chair making sure it hadn’t been taken.
Because of the cramped position we were all in, frustration began to grow a little among those standing, and that chair looked mighty good from where I was. So I gave in by slowly making my way towards it hoping I wouldn’t be embarrassed when I got there by finding it broken, then having to make my way back to where I started.
At last I was sitting down, how I got through the crowd I have no idea. What luck I thought to myself, how strange for an empty chair to go unnoticed especially when so many male persons are standing in cramped conditions around it. Then I began listening hard to the words spoken by the minister. Very good words indeed I kept thinking, words of a spiritual man who knew how to inspire through the words he gave. As I was concentrating on what was being said, my attention was then slightly distracted by something which seemed to be materialising behind the minister, but to his left.
This form looked much like thin wisps of smoke which gradually grew more intense by the second. Though it was like looking through the bottom of a glass bottle, very blurred.
But as it grew in size it slowly became more decipherable. After a minute or so I could clearly make out four ghostly figures standing together as if in talk with one another. My first thought was … (she ) is attending her own funeral as I have witnessed this in the past; but who were the other three with her I thought. As I kept my focus I saw her walk away from the other three to become clearly visible. I smiled and sent thoughts of love and immediately received back the very same.
Then she began to tell me of the chair I was sitting in and how it was specially held for me, that is why no other person sat in it (she said,) they were not allowed to. We, (she glanced back at the other three) held it for you as we knew you would be here today.
The urge you experienced to get inside was our promptings upon you, we motivated you to push your way through even though at first you tried to resist. With their help it was possible in keeping the chair vacant. It was for you from me. You gave to me through love in what you did where others would not, and now I give to you from that very same love. There was one wish I wanted, and that was to be married before I died. Thank you, you fulfilled my wish.
My eyes then began to tear up, not only was I communicating very clearly with her, but I was receiving “much” empathy and it was this empathy that was causing the emotions to rise rapidly in me.
You see, I was experiencing “PURE” love and gratitude as if her heart was speaking directly to my heart. I kept my emotions in check though, the best I could anyway, otherwise I was going to violently break down in loud sobs. (I am sure many reading this can evaluate the nature of what I am saying, concerning how the emotions often spring up at times when communicating with spirit. Love is a powerful force as we know.)
I also noticed she hadn’t change in appearance from when I last saw her, so I asked the reason of this: They say my weight will gradually return, as they don’t want to rush it all at once, but to go slowly for some reason. I guess I will know more of the reason later, she said. When my body died my mind, despite the medication I was on, was in good order, whereas many are taken directly to other facilities for healing and rest I was told. This is why it’s so important to be ready for death, people think they will live forever while their healthy, but its only when something threatens our life or when old age suddenly catches up that we then begin thinking on death. But by then it’s usually too late. But I do feel wonderful and have no more pain. My mind is very light and crystal clear.
I asked her who were the other three; They are my “Helpers,” better known as Guides. They take very good care of me. If not for them I would not be here today, and you would not be sitting in that chair. They knew my thoughts on you and how I wanted to thank you personally for all you did. They seeked permission from a higher authority in allowing to help with this – and was granted it.
She then smiled and stepped back to join her helpers. I also noticed that her hair seemed as if she just came out of the hair dressers, it was immaculately groomed and very shiny. Though she was still very thin and did say her weight would gradually gain, I did feel a great peace within her, and she did say she was very happy. After she stepped back they slowly faded away. I didn’t stay much longer after that, I couldn’t. I had to be on my own to contemplate on what just occurred and write down as much as I could remember.
I do remember though back in 2002 as I sat in my office putting together a eulogy for an elderly woman, when all of a sudden this woman (spirit) stood in the doorway of my office to give me her thanks for what I was doing. Her daughter phoned me the day before urgently requesting that I come quickly and give her mother the last rights. Sadly she passed away the moment I entered their home.
But I did sit beside her on her bed where I took her hand in mine and quietly spoke some words of comfort knowing that she was still very close. This is the thanks she came to give me, and she looked wonderful. The "POWER" of spirit is and can be incredible at times, (if), we are open to it. AWARENESS is the Key.. Awareness is not just a word it’s a (power). We all have this within us, it just has to be worked on.
Though sadly the majority today let it lay dormant. Meditation builds "awareness." Contemplation on God also builds “awareness.” It’s a wonderful gift along with many others in which I may speak of later. But I will say this: never doubt the things that can take place when spirit puts their mind to it.
We humans get so bogged down in our earthly life that we forget all about the greater things of the spirit and that of God.
The moral to this story is, if we do good towards others we will always benefit in the end. Though one should NEVER expect anything in return for the good one does, but offer it always to God then leave it in His hands in how we should benefit.
Author: Rev. Wayne E Farquhar, www.illawarraceremonies.com