I had never been a religious person. My favorite reading were books about manifesting money. I believed in the power of my own mind. I believed that eventually we all forge our own luck.
Somehow I ended up looking after my grandmother´s best fiend after my grandmother died. Elsa was one of those iron ladies who lived at home even though she was well over 90 years of age. I once asked her age and she laughed heartily.
- Young man, you never ask a lady her age!
Well I wasn´t exactly a young man, but I suppose where you are nearing hundred years of age, everyone is young.
I enjoyed her company, because she had a wonderful sense of humor. And she was ready to talk about anything under the sun. Except her age, that is.
And so one day we talked about the power of your own mind. I was talking about my favorite subject - manifesting money. Elsa was listening politely. Of course manifesting money was not interesting to her anymore.
- So you believe you alone are the creator of your own life? Elsa asked, - And no one helps you?
- I believe we are all big magnets in a way. We draw things we concentrate on into our lives. I mean if you concentrate on something you like, you draw it into your life. And if you concentrate on something you don´t like - you draw that into your life as well. Even if you say "no" to it. Especially if you concentrate on it with strong feelings. Manifesting money is just one aspect of this subject of course.
Elsa sat there, holding her ancient Bible and pondered this.
- Well, personally I have been one to search for answers here, she stroked her old, worn out book, - But then again no one ever talked of things like that when I was young. Or old, for that matter. Interesting subject, indeed. I am sure there are plenty of things in this beautiful universe we have only started to research. So I won´t say you are wrong just because I have been used to find my answers with more traditional ways.
Elsa was a keen church goer. I often escorted her there. No wheelchairs, this old girl walked on her own two feet. Slowly, but without a cane. Her congregation seemed to love her and thought of me as a believer too. Well, I wasn´t. To me the Bible was outdated information. Elsa never commented on this, even though she thought otherwise.
- We all have our own paths, she said, - And eventually they all lead home.
She had a very broad mind.
And then the day came when I found Elsa on her bed. She had peacefully slipped to the beyond in her sleep.
After the funeral her things were sorted out. She had made a will where she gave away all her worldly possessions. She had some pretty good things, but nothing to my liking. I had already collected so many things during my life I wasn´t all that interested in furniture any more. Still I wasn´t all that surprised when her lawyer informed me Elsa had left her old Bible to me.
Like I said, I am not very interested in the Bible and so I just opened it briefly before putting it to my shelf. A postcard fell out. A photo of what looked like a tiny Greek shrine. The sun was rising right behind the cross on the roof and "Faith" was written over the little doorway. It was one of those tiny shrines people could put things into, maybe a meter high. I had seen them in Greece on my travels. I still didn´t understand what was the point in putting pebbles in a shrine on the beach, but probably there was some deeper spiritual meaning to it.
Elsa had written something on the back of the card. Matthew 7:7-8. I knew her handwriting well. And "Good luck in manifesting money" - that one was written with a different pen.
I put the card back and then places the Bible on my book shelf - behind glass doors so it would not get dusty or fall on the floor. It was my only memento of a very special old lady and even though the Bible was not "my thing" I was going to take care of it.
And then the depression started. I had been a day trader and you can guess what happened. The stock markets crashed and I lost all my income. I had some savings on my bank account, but not enough to keep me going for more than a few months. Manifesting money was certainly the only thing in my mind. I tried to approach it positively, did not want to pour negative energies into the issue. But that was virtually impossible and I spent many sleepless nights, worrying.
But the day came when I knew I had nothing left. I sat there, wondering how to sell my house - I couldn´t expect to get much. The car would also have to go.
I was at my wits end. I had done anything and everything to postpone this moment, but here I was, all helpless and had no idea what to do to save myself. I had no idea how I would start manifesting money again.
- Ok, I give up! I said aloud, - If there is anyone listening, I´m done. Only a miracle can save me now.
At that I went to bed and much to my surprise I fell asleep almost immediately. I was exhausted from all my efforts on manifesting money.
I don´t know if you have ever seen dead people in your dreams. I hadn´t. But this time I had a vivid glimpse of Elsa, right when I was about to wake up the next morning. She looked a lot younger but I recognized her. And she was holding her ancient Bible, smiling broadly, standing at the foot of my bed. The postcard fell to her feet and then she was gone.
I woke up with a start. There was no postcard on the floor, of course. But I knew this had not been a normal dream. I got up and made some coffee. Then I went to my book shelf and took Elsa´s Bible. Almost a year had passed since I last touched it.
- Matthew 7:7-8... I mumbled and sat down to turn the fragile pages. I found the spot. - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek; and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
But that was not all. Elsa had written something on her precious Bible. A phone number.
- Well, what the hey... I said to myself, took my cell phone and dialed the number.
It was the number of Elsa´s lawyer, the same man who had given her Bible to me.
- So you finally called, he said much to my surprise.
- What do you mean?
- I was a bit surprised when Elsa only wanted to leave you only her Bible. I was expecting you of all people to get all her earthly belongings, because you were the one who really took care of her. But she explained it to me. Would you come on over for a cup of coffee so we can talk?
Of course I did. I figured I´d have enough gasoline to reach his office, and thankfully it did. He came to meet me and led me to his office.
- Now, I understand you had many spiritual discussions with Elsa...
- Yes, we did. She was such a wonderful old lady. Didn´t push her religion down my throat and was always interested in hearing different opinions.
- We also talked a lot with Elsa, he smiled, - And she was very interested in your theory of manifesting through your own thoughts. Manifesting money seemed to be especially important to you, I remember her saying. So, one day she came to my office to make her last will and testament. You know she only gave you her old Bible. But you do not know why.
- I suppose she wanted me to turn to a devout believer, I said, - But in a way that would not be in line with the Elsa I learned to know.
- Well, I think Elsa had good sense of humor when it came to religion, the lawyer smiled, - But actually she said she wanted to test you and how profoundly you believed in your manifestation theories. Manifesting money especially. She said you once talked how sometimes all it takes for a miracle to happen is to surrender. To give up. Remember that?
- Oh yes I do.
- Tell me... How did you find my phone number?
I told about the dream, the postcard and the phone number written on the Bible.
- Ask and it is given... he smiled, - Well that was Elsa´s favorite Bible quote. And that you actually just gave up, surrendered, and the next thing she appeared on your dream and reminded you of the Bible?
- Amazing... he shook his head, - Well, now it is time to explain to you the whole thing. Here you are. Please read it aloud. I know what it says, but I´d like to hear it still. Especially the closing words.
He handed over a letter in a sealed envelope. Old fashioned wax seal, I had never seen one before. I cracked it open and started to read out loud what Elsa had written by hand.
First I want to say I truly enjoyed our discussions and your company. It isn´t often that people take really old folks seriously. They talk down to us, like we were babies who don´t even know how to put on our own clothes. Well, I had the blessing of keeping my sharp mind even in old age, and our conversations were such a joy you have no idea.
I listened to you talking about how we create our own reality. You seemed to be especially interested in manifesting money, but considering what you do for a living that makes sense. When you said that we draw into our lives those things we concentrate on, I started thinking about my own father. I realized he had lived his whole life according to your manifestation principles. He did very well in his life and his own motto was that you should never cry over spilled milk. Concentrate on the opportunities waiting for you and do your best to reach your dreams. And reach them he did.
Still our conversations sometimes made me worry about you. If you only believe it is you who creates all, it may be that you become too obsessed with yourself. And trust me - we are here for each other. It is the other people who give a meaning to your existence. Even if you had all the money in the world and you were alone, I doubt you would be happy.
So here´s a little test I did. You have passed it if you are reading this letter.
I left you my old Bible - I know you are not very interested in reading it, so it was the perfect place to hide the phone number to my lawyer. I gave you one year. During that time, if your manifesting money -theory is real, you would find the phone number and prove your theory right. I actually made it pretty easy for you - remember the post card?
I hope you read the card and searched for Matthew 7:7-8 immediately. But of course it may be it took you the better part of the year.
Whatever the case, you have come to the manifesting money part. I also wanted to show to you that not all your theories are so new - to me Matthew 7:7-8 talks of the same thing as you do.
To put it shortly: I am leaving you half the money on my account. Obviously there are inheritance taxes to pay an all that, but I am sure you will be happy with what is left.
And here is what you shall do with your money: you shall be given a credit card to this account. Buy what ever you like. Once a month my lawyer shall calculate how much you used - and give the exact same amount to charity. I have chosen the charities so you don´t need to worry about that. But no one shall know it is my money - the benefactor will officially be you. So be prepared to meet many new people in the future!
I wish you a fun life from now on. Remember me every once in a while. I´ll be smiling and waving at you from here - where ever it is I am. Perhaps, if possible, I shall come and greet you. They say we see our loved ones in dreams. So keep an eye on your dreams - I just might come to say hi.
I put down the letter. The lawyer handed me another paper.
- Before you look at it, remember what Elsa said about his father reaching his dreams. Lets say that is an understatement. Manifesting money was what he was born to do. And Elsa was the only daughter who never married.
I looked at the paper. Columns of numbers. A circle was drawn around one number.
- What´s this? I asked.
- That is the amount of money Elsa left. Half is yours, according to her will.
That was the only time in my life I thought I would faint. I felt totally numb.
- What would have happened if I had not called you within one year? I managed to ask.
- All the money would have gone to charities. But you had two whole days left! the lawyer chuckled.
Elsa´s favorite Bible quote sure came true in my life. Manifesting money in a way that felt like a miracle. I guess the moral of the story was that when I asked for help, it was already there - I just needed to see the hints Elsa had left for me. If I had realized them earlier, the manifesting money -part would have happened a lot sooner. But on hindsight I think everything happened at the best time. Because of the difficulties I met in my own life I could look at those in need with a more sympathetic eye. Elsa was right - I had already started to turn too much inwards, perhaps even looking at other people in a less than compassionate way. I am ashamed to admit the old me was often blaming the people in trouble for causing their problems themselves.
Because my name was given out as the great benefactor, my life changed totally. I am now the chairman of many charities and have learned that the greatest joy is not in manifesting money for myself - but rather manifesting money to those who really need it.
And what of Elsa´s Bible? Well, I do read it once in a while. And when I do, I remember my old friend Elsa with gratitude - her plan of manifesting money brought such blessings to so many people.