A Seven-Second Moment

By Marchel Alverson

Chaz Wesley arrived at the hospital on May 1, 2013, with a ruptured appendix, an abdomen full of gangrene, resulting in toxins coursing through his veins. Although his friends and caregivers were told by his doctors that his condition was life-threatening, Wesley had only hours before finished giving the sermon at the funeral of a friend, and was hurriedly editing an already past-due article—ironically, one on health and well-being, which would become the October/November feature story for Daily Word®.

Wesley, however, made a full recovery within months, leaving his doctors astounded. His doctors labeled him a medical miracle and asked him for permission to be interviewed for a medical journal. Several times during post-op appointments, Wesley heard the phrase, “This is where you should have died.”

This remarkable recovery was nothing new to Wesley. He simply had other plans. Their story was not his story. And Wesley is sharing his story with audiences nationwide.

His is a story of hope, of well-being and Truth. When he conveys his story to people, there are usually tears and laughter, but it always ends good, and it always inspires. Wesley spreads a message of unabated optimism, courage, and joy.

Medical miracles are old hat to Wesley, host of From Grief to Grace on Unity Online Radio. In 2000 he was faced with a diagnosis of cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe anemia, and clinical depression. After months of steroid treatments, spinal taps, and a daily regime of 49 pills and self-administered interferon injections, he “awakened” to rewrite his old story—literally, by using his late mother’s eyeliner pencil on the bathroom mirror—to one that proclaimed, “As a child of the Most High, it is natural for me to enjoy health and well-being.”

This “seven-second moment,” as he calls it, changed his mindset and brought him to a discovery of the Holy and the Wholeness of Life. That day in front of the mirror, Wesley stared at his Truth, and he has never wavered from it. Being healthy—and living life to the fullest—is the tale he chooses to share.

“Everyone has a story, so if you’re going to tell a story, you might as well make it a good one,” Wesley said. “We have choices, and many of them are gentler than the one we’re currently experiencing. We all have a choice in how we tell our story, and my hope is that I’m choosing to tell mine in an uplifting way.”

With his conviction, clarity and candor, and comedy, Wesley has touched more souls than he could have ever imagined. But he doesn’t consider himself a motivational speaker. Wesley’s mission is simply to be present and participate in the lives of others by holding the highest and best for all.

“I learned a long time ago that motivation is usually temporary. So when I’m introduced as a motivational speaker, I cringe a bit,” he said. “I’d rather be called an inspirational speaker because motivational speakers, by the very nature of the word, often cause one to feel as if they’re being pushed; and although there’s nothing wrong with that, when I’m reading or feeling something inspirational, it’s as if I’m being pulled.

“If you can visualize someone pushing, you notice where they are … behind you. You can’t see that person. You can’t see what their next step will be, so there is no trust,” Wesley added. “But when someone is inspiring you, or pulling you, you can clearly see the person. It’s a more affable approach. You can see and feel what’s coming—or ‘be-coming.’”

For Wesley, each opportunity to share his message allows him to connect with “souls on the same journey.” He finds a mutual sense of amazement and awe with people in the audience.

“I got rid of the story that people need help a long time ago. We’d probably be in a better position if we stop trying to ‘help’ in the healing process,” said Wesley. “When we focus on helping, our attention is simultaneously drawn to that which needs to be fixed. In doing so, we often shine a light on what doesn’t feel so good and move away from the principle that we know to be true … that there’s only one power and it is good all the time ... everything else is just a story.”

Wesley believes his message of hope is nothing new. He remarked, “Every master teacher, from Buddha to Jesus to Martin Luther King Jr., believed in a wisdom, a promise, which I consider to be the law, and that is that the truth will set you free. Years ago, when I told myself a story of hope, healing, and laughter, I was choosing to focus on Truth and have since come to the realization that it really is the equivalent to freedom.”

This is Wesley’s overriding message, and on January 16, 2014, he will have the opportunity to touch more lives with his new show From Grief to Grace on Unity Online Radio. Each episode will feature engaging interviews, inspirational music, and encouraging exploration of loss, love, and life—with a bit of laughter thrown in for good measure.

With this show, Wesley will guide listeners through a journey of grief and bereavement to one of grace and renewed joy.

For Wesley, regardless of the situation, people can write their own story and choose to be happy. “Am I happy today? Well, today is relative and it’s a very long time,” he said. “Today is, in fact, 86,400 seconds long. I do know, however, that I’m happy in this moment. I have choices, and happiness is always one of them—moment by moment.”  

Read Wesley’s article, “Awaken to the Wholeness of Life,” in Daily Word.