Experiencing a difficult time or maybe seeking a closer relationship with God?
Dear Loving Friend:
Since the beginning of this ministry, over forty-three years ago, our intention has been to help as many people, as possible, to get answers to their prayers, and to enrich their lives; to assist everyone in realizing that God is their help in every need. Also to know that God is a very real Presence always within and around them all.
This special article about James Dillet Freeman and his poem I Am There is provided for you to help:
- enhance your realization of the Presence of God;
- know God is always with you regardless of who you are, or what you may experience.
The poem has been significantly helpful to me, through the years. We trust that you find it of real value and that it helps you to know God more intimately. God is the Answer to everything.
It was my good fortune to know James Freeman, personally. We were ordained as Unity ministers by Lowell Fillmore, son of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, June 22nd, 1966.
Print this out and keep it handy. Share this with someone you care about who may be experiencing a difficult time, or who is seeking a closer relationship with God. In this way we all share in lifting each other up, and create a happier, more loving and peaceful world for all of us.
– Lovingly, Rev. John & Rev. Tina
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“I AM THERE!”
By James Dillet Freeman
It was 1947 when James Dillet Freeman heard the words that would inspire his most beloved and widely known poem, “I Am There.” His wife Katherine was in the hospital after undergoing surgery for cancer.
It was a time of deep personal need, Freeman recalled. “I was in great anguish of spirit.”
When the doctors told him Katherine had terminal cancer, he left the hospital and went to the Silent Unity Prayer and Healing Room at the then-Unity Headquarters at 917 Tracy Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri.
“God,” he prayed aloud, “if you are there, please allow my Katherine to live. Oh, God, where are you?”
Freeman would later recall that he heard a “clear and audible empathetic voice” speak to him, “Do you need me? I am there.”
He looked around to see who was talking, but saw no one. While he bowed his head, he could still hear the words and felt hope and comfort.
Unity Archives, as part of the Treasures of the Archives series, reviewed its extensive historic data collection for insight into the late Unity poet laureate and leader, and his most famous poem, which was first published in 1948 in Daily Word®.
Upon reflection, Freeman recalled that hospital scene when the doctor emerged from the surgery room. The doctor, he said, walked slowly over, shook his head and told Freeman, “I am sorry, the cancer has spread.” He said Katherine had just months to live.
A few days later, while she was still in the hospital, Freeman shared the doctor’s prognosis with Katherine, but she seemed to already know. Amid her weakened condition, he said, the couple kept an upbeat facade to comfort each other. Freeman recalled taking her hand and laying down beside her.
“All at once there was a presence in the room with us, and we knew we were not alone,” Freeman later wrote.
Several days later, he took Katherine home. She was in a lot of pain, Freeman said, but
her courage carried them both. In the evenings when the pain was nearly unbearable, Freeman would often read to her the words he had heard in the chapel.
Katherine lived for 10 months after the diagnosis. Although a great loss to him, Freeman said he did not lose faith. Rather, he was sustained by his wife’s faithful influence. He said the experience taught him that God’s love is always present.
The original verses of “I Am There” tell of each phase of the months leading to Katherine’s transition. Freeman remembered the question, “Do you need me?” and the divine response of assurance, “I am there.”
On August 7, 1971, the poem was famously carried to the moon by Apollo 15 astronauts James B. Irwin, David R. Scott, and Alfred M. Worden. Stored in a microfilm file, the poem was intended to be left there for future space explorations.
Freeman received a letter from Irwin on August 30, 1971, verifying that in fact his “I Am There” poem was onboard the Falcon lunar module on its mission to the Hadley-Apennine region of the moon. In November of that year, Irwin visited Unity Village to meet with Freeman.
The poem was also adapted into a planetarium video at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A musical score, artwork, photographic support, and special effects were added, and the adaptation was named “A Christmas Star.” It was shown to the public for the first time at the academy on December 12, 1980. Freeman saw the production on December 30, 1980.
I AM THERE
by James Dillet Freeman
Do you need Me?
I am there.
You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.
You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.
I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.
I am at work, though you do not recognize My works.
I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.
Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me as I am, and then but as
a feeling and a faith.
Yet I am there. Yet I hear. Yet I answer.
When you need Me, I am there.
Even if you deny Me, I am there.
Even when you feel most alone, I am there.
Even in your fears, I am there.
Even in your pain, I am there.
I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.
I am in you, and you are in Me.
Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for only in your mind are the
mists of “yours” and “mine.”
Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.
Empty your heart of empty fears.
When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.
You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.
And I am in all.
Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I am there.
I am there because I have to be, because I am.
Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take
form; only because of Me does the world go forward.
I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are
I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling.
I am assurance.
I am peace.
I am oneness.
I am the law that you can live by.
I am the love that you can cling to.
I am your assurance.
I am your peace.
I am one with you.
Though you fail to find Me, I do not fail you.
Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never wavers, because I know
you, because I love you.
Beloved, I am there.
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This spiritual food is provided for you by Golden Key Ministry-Unity.