"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going. Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him, and have seen him.'" (NRSV)
John 14:1-7. Interested in an interpretation for possible help in a funeral of one who has been much influenced by Unity and has specifically requested a poem by James Freeman.
COMMENT: My condolences on your loss. The passage is from Jesus' Great Discourse in the Gospel of John, immediately before his arrest and execution. He is lovingly trying to prepare his closest disciples for what lies ahead. It's important to remember that he is speaking here, not as Jesus of Nazareth, but as Jesus Christ, fully expressive of the Christ Presence that is his true identity – as it is the true identity of each of us. This passage, then, I think, makes two important points. First, there is no reality to death. It is not the end of anything. It is a moving to a different place in the Allness of God. It may seem final to our limited human perspective, but in spiritual Truth life is eternal. Second, we can only achieve this elevated spiritual awareness by first embracing our own divinity. It is the "I AM" Presence of God within us that knows spiritual Truth. It is by allowing the Christ within Jesus to show us the Christ within ourselves that we 'know the Father' – fully understand our eternal Oneness with God.
You mention a poem by James Dillet Freeman. You are probably thinking of "The Traveler," which is frequently included in Unity memorial services. It's a beautiful affirmation of these same beliefs. In case you don't have a copy, I'll include it here.
By James Dillet Freeman
He has put on invisibility.
Dear Lord, I cannot see –
But this I know, although the road ascends
And passes from my sight;
That there will be no night;
That You will take him gently by the hand
And lead him on
Along the road of life that never ends.
And he will find it is not death but dawn.
I do not doubt that You are there as here,
And You will hold him dear.
Our life did not begin with birth;
We are not of the earth.
And this that we call death, it is no more
Than the opening and closing of a door –
And in Your house
How many rooms must be
Beyond this one where we rest momently.
Dear Lord, I thank You
For the faith that frees,
And for the love that knows
It cannot lose its own;
The love that,
Looking through the shadows, sees
That You and he and I are ever one.