I've never really had a solid answer to this one. With my mother's death at a young age, there is always part of me that wonders if this new person in my life might have part of my mother's spirit. I know that I'm instantly drawn to people that remind me of my mother, but I hesitate to settle on the fact that it might be reincarnation.
I posed this question to a congregant this week as she remarked that she feels like she has known me for a long time. She explained that there is something about my spirit that makes her feel like I have actually come home. I'm not a new minister, but someone she has known for a long time. I suppose this is not unlike my feelings about seeking my mother's qualities in friends and companions. She hesitated and said that reincarnation limited the possibility she spoke of. But, I'm stuck with this question as I think and pray about the incarnation of God in our midst -- once again.
I will be spending Christmas Day with my church administrator as well as an assortment of other women with or without a place to call home on this miraculous day. It hit me as I was talking to my parents this afternoon that this new friend reminds me of someone I have not seen and heard from in a long time. It's not the same feeling as connecting with friends that remind me of someone else that I know and love (which is the case for another one of my favorite Portland people). This woman actaully reminds me of my grandmother. Both my grandmother and this woman share the same zest for life, dark sense of humor and compassion for all. They even share the same name. I remarked this to my stepmother. And she said, "well, you never know." This is the mystery that I love. It doesn't matter if my grandmother's spirit does or does not live on in this new friend. Instead, I am relishing in the mystery of the incarnate God revealing Herself to me yet again.