My dearest friends,
I address you that way because of the line in this lesson, “I will recognize in everyone my dearest Friend” (3:5). I was so struck by that line once that, for about four or five months, every letter I wrote (except to those who probably would not understand) I began with, “My dearest friend [name].”
No wonder that the Course tells us, “There are no strangers in God’s creation” (T-3.III.7:7). My dearest Friend is in everyone; everyone is, in reality, that Friend. That is their real, albeit hidden, Identity. Speaking of “those who accept the Holy Spirit’s purpose as their own” (T-20.II.5:3), the Text says, “He sees no strangers; only dearly loved and loving friends” (T-20.II.5:5).
Imagine seeing the world in that way. Imagine being in love with everyone you met, recognizing each and every one as a dearly loved friend, and knowing that in their heart of hearts they are wholly loving, as you are. Imagine being surrounded by love like that. This is the Course’s vision of the real world, the world attained through full forgiveness (see T-17.II.5:1; T-30.VI.3:3).
“Forgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence” (1:4). And when I recognize my innocence, I will no longer see anything to forgive (1:3). I will see only dearly loved and loving friends. As long as I see something else, something less than that, there is forgiveness work to be done. We are here for one purpose and one purpose only: to forgive the world so completely that we absolutely fall in love with everyone and everything; anything less than that is incomplete forgiveness. What limits our love except some form of unforgiveness? Only by so completely removing every barrier to love will we come to know the fullness of the love we are.
The strength of God in me enables me to do this. As I forgive I am remembering that strength in myself, a strength I have forgotten. “I forgive all things because I feel the stirring of His strength in me” (2:5). God’s Voice guides me on this path of forgiveness, step by careful step; there is really nowhere else to go. “I am walking steadily on toward truth” (4:4). Sometimes my footsteps seem to falter, but I cannot really go astray. God’s Love sustains me. Through listening to its stirrings deep within myself, I come to remember that I am His Son.
Our footsteps have not been unwavering, and doubts have made us walk uncertainly and slowly on the road this course sets forth. But now we hasten on, for we approach a greater certainty, a firmer purpose and a surer goal.
Steady our feet, our Father. Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still, and speak to us. We have no words to give to You. We would but listen to Your Word, and make it ours. Lead our practicing as does a father lead a little child along a way he does not understand. Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.
So do we bring our practicing to You. And if we stumble, You will raise us up. If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering. We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back. Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You. And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us. (W-pI.RV.In.1:5-3:6)