Passion and Purpose

Follow your passion; It will lead you to your purpose. Oprah

Sometimes following our passion seems like the irresponsible thing to do. Passion is not very rational, it does not tend to stick to a schedule, and it can keep us out past curfew. One of my passions is linking this world to the next and vice versa. It is a passion that has taken me many places in my life, and one that has always given me a purpose.

The other day when I was scrolling through all of those pictures looking for a shot of our family of five, I came across a photo that I had not seen in years. It exists solely because I followed my passion. The backstory to the photo goes like this:

Some years ago, I had the pleasure of working with a beautiful woman who was nursing her husband through a long and harrowing illness.  She had come to see me in part, because of the anticipatory grief she was feeling. Over the course of several years, she had been losing her husband one slow day at a time and this was of course emotionally painful to bear. As the time of his passing grew near we spoke more often, and I even made several trips to the hospital to talk with her husband as he moved closer to his transition out of this world. As time grew short he decided that he wanted to be at home and all the arrangements were made. A few days later at 1:00am I received a phone call from his wife. His breathing had grown shallow and erratic and the Hospice nurse had phoned and was busy with another patient. Could I come and sit with her?

My passion for honoring this doorway between worlds got me up, got me dressed, and drove me across town. For the next two hours she and I sat bedside as he worked his way out of this world. It was a beautiful passing and I felt so honored to have been witness to it.

A dear friend had arrived to be with her so I prepared to make my exit. As she walked me to the door she looked me in the eye and said earnestly, “Thank you for being our angel in the night’ I hugged her and softly replied, ‘Now you have an angel for real out there, and I am sure he will make his presence known.’ My gratitude to her for allowing me in her door was every bit as deep as her gratitude to me for coming when she called. My face was wet with tears as I backed out of the drive and headed home.

The next morning’s work day dawned all too soon and when I arrived to my office for my 9:00am client my eyes were still bleary with sleep. I unlocked my door and walked in, just as I do every morning. But on this day, there was something astonishing there to greet me- a true gift from the universe. My office sits on the third floor and has large picture windows that stretch the entire length of one wall. To my astonishment, right there in the middle of my window, as if etched into the glass, was the most beautiful set of wings you could imagine- they looked like a chalk dusting. I walked up to the window and touched the glass, and sure enough, those wings existed only on the outside. I don’t know what else to call them other than ‘wing-prints.’ I could only surmise that during the night a large bird must have flown straight into my office window and in doing so, left the perfect silhouette of it’s wings imprinted across the glass.

I just stood there stunned, thinking back to the soft words about angels in the night that had been spoken just a few hours before. I knew her husband would find a way to show her his wings, but I never thought the universe would be so literal with the message.

I quickly snapped the pic below ( it truly does not do the image justice) and sent it to the one I knew it would mean the most to. She was as astonished and comforted as I was. Neither of us had any doubt at all that her husband had found his wings. (And we had to laugh at how apropos the  whole things was to his personality…he had always enjoyed making an entrance….)


 At 1:00am my passion had gotten me out of bed and by 9:00am the universe had placed wing prints on the window… that is purpose enough for me.