Holy Ghosts


“Holy Ghosts”  Watercolor by Kathy Manis Findley

I’m not afraid of ghosts. While I was a hospital chaplain, I regularly visited a woman who was slowly recovering from a serious illness. During one of our visits, she shared with me this story.

When I pray at night, my daddy comes into the room. Now daddy has been dead for years, but still he sits with me, especially at night. I can’t really explain it, but here’s right here with me, talking to me, comforting me . . . like a holy ghost.

I think she explained it very well. I have heard similar stories from other patients, and I believe with them that the space between us and our departed loved ones is a thin veil, a sacred veil. I recently saw the following quote attributed to Reagan Courtney. “When the dead come to mind, they are like holy ghosts, as real as hope or faith, as tangible as trust and love.”

A few months ago, I painted a watercolor entitled “Holy Ghosts.” It was dedicated to those I have loved and lost, those who hover over me with abiding love, consolation and protection . . . my dearest friend, Ethel, my brother Pete, my grandmother, my Aunt Koula.

The painting is not meant to be scary or morbid. It is just the opposite for me. It represents the souls who hover over us for protection, those with whom we shared love and life. For you see, love does not end with death. Love is too powerful for that. And who says we cannot continue to experience love through the sacred veil that only slightly separates us from the holy ghosts that remain a part of our lives?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

– Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

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