Leap of Faith


So here’s the story. A close friend (we’ll call her Emma) called to tell me that her friend Joan received a message for her from “beyond.” Joan was in the middle of a reading, when the medium spoke to an older man wearing a baseball cap and jacket, requesting that someone deliver a message to Emma.

What message, you’re probably enquiring out loud, because that’s the most interesting part of the story, right – the message? Well, predictably, the old man was Emma’s deceased father and he wanted her to know that he was okay, but also that he’s been unsuccessfully attempting to contact her. He chose to deliver the message through Joan because lately, “Emma has been too upset to notice.” Then he insisted Joan promise to deliver the message. She did, and the story ends with a late night phone call to me.

You’ve probably already formed an opinion. Some of you think it’s bologna, and some of you believe. If you’re part of the latter, count Emma among your ranks – she wholeheartedly accepted every word. I won’t rain on your parade by listing all the reasons why skepticism is the better choice, because there are so many, and I’m sure you’ve heard them all before. Besides, If you believe there is enough evidence here for unconditional acceptance, you won’t be convinced by anything I might say anyway.

And I’m okay with that. Think what you like –  no reason to pay me a bit of attention, but for me, there is still a major problem. My friend Emma has decided this surrogate contact from her father has happened because it “must be near my time to go.”

“Huh? Wait a sec… What?” That was my response. What could possibly have made Emma arrive at such a conclusion? She has some medical issues, but most people do at our age. Sure times are tough, because the economy is tough. Many people are dealing with severe life-altering changes, perhaps alone, or looking desperately for ways to rewrite their personal scripts, but the ole “death is nye” equivocation is extreme in anyone’s book. I became instantly concerned.

This is exactly why I question the wisdom of putting too much emphasis on what a medium has to say. Sometimes we emphasize incorrectly – nothing in the message mentioned death. Of course, dear Emma could have psychological problems, but she doesn’t. You’ll have to trust me on that. Of course she could be at a vulnerable stage of life, but again, she’s no more assailable than the average person. Perhaps she’s just too susceptible to the medium’s art; a little too willing to accept without question.

There’s no real explanation for either her leap of faith, or the conclusions she drew, and she can’t be criticized for her part in the story. Nor can we blame her friend Joan for making good on a promise. Are we to accuse the medium? Wasn’t she just doing her job? And yet, Emma’s feelings still stand – that her final time is near, and she cites the message as reason.

Sometimes, I think all of us need to take a step back and spend a lot more time considering consequences. People are easily hurt and often too quick to interpret other’s intentions. The paranormal, with all it’s variations and ramifications, can become something completely antithetical to its reality. It can damage people without a single shred of credible proof, and cause them to make decisions that result in life-changing consequences. Emma’s strong confidence in the medium’s vision is unshakeable – the damage has been done. But I should be able to convince her that life is never a thing of chance, but a thing of choice, and those choices are more powerful than any prediction can ever be.

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