Early in my preteen years, I was going blind. I needed eye surgery, laser was new, but the only likely option, and the chance of success far less than certain. This crisis drove me into a period of spiritual emergency. My parents took me to see a retired pastor, blind due to age and illness, who impressed upon me the importance of surrender to the Divine Principle. He was one of many guiding lights I have borne witness to throughout the course of my life.

His words, along with those of others, led me to dedicate my life to the Divine Purpose. Blind or sighted, I would perform whatever would be asked of me. As with most humans, that promise has been marginally kept.

It was determined that the potential of me becoming blind had been an illusion. I am convinced that there had existed a very real possibility of me losing my eyesight, perhaps for past life karmic reasons. At any rate, my karma was forgiven, and I praise the Divine that I was allowed to continue viewing Her Beauty everyday since!

Much earlier, as a toddler, and again, in my early twenties, I was miraculously rescued from certain death by drowning. I cannot count the number of close calls as a Marine in Iraq. I can remember hearing the crack of sniper fire, feeling the wind of the bullets brushing past me. I was terrified many times of the RPGs, the rockets overhead, the daily splashes of the mortars just out of reach.

Prayer become a constant requirement, as it should ever remain even in the best of circumstances. During my first experience of a rather serious attack, I questioned my future heavily, and with all seriousness prepared to meet my maker. This scenario repeated itself a number of times during my deployments.

I have lost everything and everyone in life, multiple times now. Sometimes due to my own efforts, sometimes due to my ‘misplaced’ generosity and trust in other imperfect humans. While I have certainly felt abandoned by the Divine at low points, I realize that in fact, at these moments, She is my sole companion.

Faith, to me, is a very active subject. It is no mere abstraction to be intellectualized over and debated about. Without a tangible, solid sort of Faith, my life would undoubtedly have ended far earlier. Therefore, I consider it a privilege to be granted opportunities to further the Divine Plan, gaining faint glimpses of the immense genius of its constantly unfolding Beauty.

Art and Creativity, expressed through all aspects of daily living, is my primary tribute, giving back talents lent to me for that purpose. I write to inspire others to come to know the Love of a life so lived, not for self pleasure, nor self sacrifice, but to further a Greater Purpose than our personalities.

I cannot express my full gratitude in words, so I have determined to make my life an expression of these sentiments. Each day, I strive to make greater efforts than prior. I am grateful for the opportunity, and the passion to do so.