IN HIS UNSEEN HANDS
My first thought on seeing Baba's face (on the cover) was, "I know this man!" But then I couldn't figure out how I knew him. Was it in Italy (he looked Italian)? New York? No... Then I overheard, "He says he's God," so I started wondering how God could write a book (and if God was the author, who could be the publisher!) The concept of the God-Man, God in human form, was totally beyond my grasp. I finally decided that I could not say for sure whether Meher Baba was God or not, because only God could say that and I wasn't God as far as I knew! Perhaps he was what he claimed — he had such an honest face I felt he couldn't tell a lie. Then I gave it no more thought. That was how I first heard of Meher Baba.
It was late when my friends and I got up to go home that evening; the fog had rolled in thickly from the ocean making it hard to find our way to our car. Having found it in the fog, we settled in for the long drive back. As it was my car, I was driving, and from the first turn down the long driveway I realized that our return drive was going to be difficult — the fog was so thick I couldn't see more than a few feet ahead, and the road down the mountain was full of hairpin turns and hard to drive even in daylight. I leaned over the wheel and tried my best.
As the minutes crept by, it seemed harder and harder to negotiate the steep turns in the dark and fog. I was tired and began to be nervous — would this road never end? As I really began to feel the strain of the drive and the eeriness of the enshrouding fog, I suddenly felt two hands on the steering wheel beside mine; they seemed to be steering the car! I could almost see them, the feeling was so strong. I asked my friend seated next to me if she noticed anything about the wheel. She didn't and I told her about my feeing of the two hands. It didn't seem frightening to us at the time, only strange and inexplicable and we lapsed into puzzled silence.
The bottom of the mountain finally came into sight, and we were weary and dizzy from the endless twistings and turnings of the road. At the first crossroads, just at the foot of the mountain, the car suddenly would not go into first gear. The shift kept jamming — so I put the car in neutral and we coasted the car into a gas station, fortunately just a few yards away. We left the car there to be repaired and called a friend who kindly came and drove us home.
The next morning I returned to the gas station to pick up my car. The attendant greeted me with a chuckle, "Now, just tell me where you drove that car in from, miss!"
I smiled, a little puzzled at his manner, and said, "We came from La Honda," (the town at the top of the mountain).
At this he laughed, "That's a good joke! Now really, where'd you come from — I'm surprised you could get that car to move!"
I was even more puzzled, "Why do you say that?"
He chuckled, "Well lady, one turn around the station and the right wheel flew off! You couldn't have driven her in that condition for more than 200 yards, so don't kid me about coming from La Honda! Just not possible!" And still chuckling, he went off to get me my re-wheeled car.
Two years later in 1971 when I came to Baba at His beautiful Center in Myrtle Beach, the episode of the two guiding hands became transformed in my mind into a sign from Beloved Baba — that He had had me in His hands from the very first evening I heard His Name, and probably for ages before.
SHOWERS OF GRACE, pp. 44-46, ed. Bal Natu
1984 © Bal Natu