This tribute has been lovingly written by Betty Krueger on behalf of all of us for our beloved Jessica Magnusson, a great seva warrior who has provided us over the years with such wonderfully inspiring quotes of Guruji in beautiful handwritten calligraphy, as well as so many other of her special gifts to the world:
On Sunday Dec. 5 the Fairfield, Iowa USA Satsang will be celebrating the life and love of one of our most passionately dedicated Seva Angels.
Jessica Ann Magnusson joined our Art of Living family in a condition of such delicate health that she had to be given the basic course in private sessions over an extended period of time. (Her doctors had classified her as disabled for life due to head injuries from an auto accident.) Within months of joining our weekly Satsang, her cognitive function had improved to the extent that she began to supplement her disability income by resuming her calligraphy business. Her inspirational cards and matted pieces soon included a line dedicated to quotes of Sri Sri, which have been Divine Shop best sellers at courses and public talks all over North America for many years.
From Guruji’s knowledge, Jessica grasped immediately that Selfless Service is a spiritual lifeline. When the painful swelling in her head subsided to the point that she no longer needed to be on constant medication, her gratitude was such that she began to collect stories of how others also had received the gift of healing through Guruji’s grace, which she compiled and edited into an e-book that has inspired Satsangees and others all over the world. When the devotees who originally set up our weekly Art of Living TV show moved away, Jessica took over that responsibility also, faithfully delivering videotapes of Guruji to our local public TV station every week for nearly 5 years.
When diagnosed with a life-threatening stage of cancer, Jessica’s response was not only to pursue alternative remedies, but also to increase her Seva endeavors. It was at this point that she almost single-handedly organized and set up a DSN Course in Fairfield; and those of us who worked closely with her on this project can assure you that this deep and powerful course would never have happened without the impetus of Jessica’s passion, commitment and dedication.
By her own account, the knowledge that her remaining time in this life might be short only intensified Jessica’s conviction that she could never give back enough. When her body had weakened to the point that she could no longer leave her home without assistance, she embarked upon a writing project to share inspiring insights from her experience of facing death and savoring life.
Although Jessica’s physical handicaps often appeared overwhelming to the rest of us, she stubbornly refused to view herself as a disabled person. In her final writings she mentions that when she first heard the saying that God never gives you anything more than you can handle, her laughing response was: "Well, I sometimes wish He didn’t think so highly of me!" Then she goes on to share thoughts about courage and faith, and living for others.
Through so many of the details of her daily life, our precious world has become a better place because Jessica Ann Magnusson lived and laughed and loved in it. Her body left us on November 24th, but her spirit is undoubtedly cheering and urging us on from the realms of peace and light.
[Reproduced verbatim from the esatsang digest of 4th Dec, 2004]