Taking Jesus' Hand: Exchanging Our Gifts for His, Part II

By Kenneth Wapnick

Excerpted from pp. 236-237 of Volume One (All Are Called) of the two-volume work entitled 
The Message of A Course in Miracles, by Kenneth Wapnick, 
copyright 1997 by the Foundation for A Course in Miracles
Reproduced here with permission.

Returning now to "The Gifts of God," Jesus takes us through the next step, which was mentioned in the above passage, and which we discussed earlier: the need to say "no" to the ego's gifts. Only this "not no" allows us to say and truly mean the "yes" to Jesus that he asks on our own behalf. And so he implores us to bring to him our gifts that he may exchange them for his own:
How can you be delivered from all gifts the world has offered you? How can you change these little, cruel offerings for those that Heaven gives and God would have you keep? Open your hands, and give all things to me that you have held against your holiness and kept as slander on the Son of God....

I take them from you gladly, laying them beside the gifts of God that He has placed upon the altar to His Son. And these I give to you to take the place of those you give to me in mercy on yourself. These are the gifts I ask, and only these. For as you lay them by you, reach to me, and I can come as savior then to you. The gifts of God are in my hands, to give to anyone who would exchange the world for Heaven. You need only call my name and ask me to accept the gift of pain from willing hands that would be laid in mine, with thorns laid down and nails long thrown away as one by one the sorry gifts of earth are joyously relinquished.  In my hands is everything you want and need and hoped to find among the shabby toys of earth. I take them all from you and they are gone. And shining in the place where once they stood there is a gateway to another world through which we enter in the Name of God (The Gifts of God, pp. 118-19; italics mine).

I sometimes tell students of A Course in Miracles that Jesus sees us as having only one hand, meaning that we cannot hold his hand and the ego's simultaneously. While we are free to go back and forth between the two, at any given instant we can hold but one. This reflects one of the characteristics of the split mind: the decision maker must choose between the ego and the Holy Spirit. It cannot choose neither, and cannot choose both. It can only choose one or the other, and that remains its only choice. As we have seen, Jesus teaches us in the Course:
In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice; always between two choices or two voices (C- 1.7: 1).
And from a workbook lesson that discusses the contrast between the separated world of the ego and the real world of the Holy Spirit, we find the same principle enunciated:
It is impossible to see two worlds which have no overlap of any kind. Seek for the one; the other disappears. But one remains. They are the range of choice beyond which your decision cannot go. The real and the unreal are all there are to choose between, and nothing more than these (W-pI.130.5).


<=Back to Jesus' Hand, Part I



Miracle Studies Navigation Table

Index of Resources Discussion Group FAQ about ACIM 50 Miracle Principles
Biographical: Helen, Bill, Ken Unauthorized Manuscripts The Story of A Course in Miracles The Psychology of ACIM
The Course's Use of Language What is Forgiveness?  Copyright Related Info Question/Answer Service