Go forth and let your good works glorify God, for the tongue and teeth may lie but your actions never do. Let the presence of the presence be present in you to light the presence in the other, for there is no other but the One. – George James.
No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted. – Aesop.
Hello and welcome to my blog. The first quote is one I share when I end my classes, consultations, or healings. I speak these words to remind all of the gifts they have within self to help others. The second quote, from Aesop, reflects the moral lesson taught in “The Lion and the Mouse.” My closing phrase and Aesop’s offer spiritual guidelines to encourage our private growth. At around 8pm on Monday, August 4, 2016, both became manifest in a public teaching.
In this blog I will share with you how God provided me a spontaneous opportunity to demonstrate the two spiritual principles mentioned above, as well as their impact and effect on me.
Leaving the Cave for Birthday Dinner
In spite of my outward congenial behavior, I tend to live what some of my close friends say is a “monk-like life style.” In order to get me out of my cave, and in celebration of my 68th birthday, my buddy Tom invited me to dinner in downtown Washington D.C. I agreed, hopped in my car, drove to D.C. in 20 minutes, and found a parking space at the end of the block near his building. Everything was so atypically easy that I knew Divine intervention was at play. I exited the car, quickly walked to his building, pushed the buzzer for entry and took the elevator up to his loft and photographer’s studio on the third floor.
Salutations were followed by a selection of restaurants to choose from. I chose the Asian Spice, a restaurant serving fusion style Asian meals on 8th street North West, a short walk from Tom’s building. The summer heat had cooled down enough to eat on the patio at street level. Tom mentioned the possibility that someone homeless might approach us while were eating. I smiled and reminded him I’m originally from New York City. When I was 18, I lived on East 6th Street, close to the men’s shelter at Second Avenue and 4th Street. I also spent time living in India. I said, “If that should happen, all will be ok.”
I was sitting across from Tom, facing south, and could see the people turning the corner heading north towards me. While we were talking and enjoying our meal, all types of people walked by, including the homeless, without incident. Then a homeless Afro-American woman in a yellow tee shirt with a cartoon blue smiley face on the front turned and headed in my direction. She was petite, with very close-cropped curly hair, which appeared to be whitish in the dim evening light. She held her belongings in two small paper bags. I continued to eat my dinner as she walked past me. I looked up from my plate and noticed people on the patio were looking in my direction. I realized Tom had glanced over at her and turned back to his plate. I turned and looked at her and she began to speak. “Don’t turn away from me I’m a person too,” she said.” I may be homeless, but I’m still a person! I don’t smell, I’m clean, and I haven’t eaten since this morning. Don’t turn away from me”—and she burst into tears. She had poured out her heart and soul for all to see and hear.
I slid my chair back from the table, got up, and walked to the chain that blocked the outside entrance, unfastened it, walked up to her and stood in front of her. When she looked up through her tears I stepped in closer and put my arms around her and pulled her to my chest and held her with all my being as if she were a new born baby. I gently squeezed her and put my left cheek on her close-cropped curly hair, which was soft and silky, while I tenderly rubbed the back of her head. She lifted up her face and through her tears looked into my eyes and softly said, “I needed this. I feel like I’m human again. My name is Sheila” and placed her face back on my chest and continued sobbing. As her tears became stronger, my embrace became stronger and the Love and Silence deep within me softly flowed through.
I hugged her as if she were my only child in the universe. I gently lifted up her chin and looked into her eyes with love so strong there was nothing but deep space surrounding us and everyone and everything around us disappeared. Through her tears she said, “I’ve made some mistakes in my life. I’ve overcome drugs and alcohol, I have Jesus in my heart, and I’m trying so hard and I’m still struggling. There’s a lady that lets me come and take a shower at her place ever three days so I can be clean. I missed the bus to the shelter and if I don’t get there before 10 o’clock they’ll give my bed away and I have no place to sleep.”
I bent my knees so we were eye to eye. As I gazed into her tear-filled eyes I said: “Sheila you have chosen a very difficult path to learn that God has you in his hands and will bring you through to a better life. Yes, you have Jesus in your heart, but God is the one that cares for us all. You will pass through this and have a better life.” I gently reached into my left pocket, took out my wallet and grabbed the first bill I touched, which was a $20. I gently folded it as I held her. I placed it in her right hand, wrapped her hand around it and softy said, “Use this to get to the shelter and use the rest carefully.” She looked up at me and said “Thank you.” I said “Thank God, Sheila. He’s the one that provides it.”
Her spirits lifted and her body became lighter. She looked up at me in surprise and I said, “Go do what you have to do and know that God is pulling you through.” She looked at me and said “I have to run to Walmart for change to get the bus.” I gave her one more tight squeeze and let her go. With a sense of hope, she immediately ran to the corner heading to Walmart, like a child running free with joy in its heart. I turned and walked back to the patio
As I entered all eyes were on me and everyone was silent. I put the chain back on the hook and headed to my table, and sat down to finish my dinner and conversation. I asked Tom how he was doing. He said, “I’m fine. I expected nothing less from you — You had the grace of a bodhisattava. It was wonderful to watch you in action.”
Amazing Grace: God’s Gift to me
Birthday dinner quietly came to an end. I retrieved my water bottle and car keys from Tom’s place and headed to my car. As I quietly sat in my car I became aware that the grace of unconditional love was still pulsating in my heart and the silence still flowing throughout my being from my encounter with Sheila. In the silence, I also became aware that Sheila was God’s gift to me; it allowed me to fully dissolve any subtle barriers, be they mental, emotional, or egoic, so my that Soul-self could take action and flow freely.
As a result of fully letting go, God blessed me by infusing every fiber of my being with His amazing grace of silence and Love. It was a love beyond words, beyond any human love I have ever had in my life. To attempt to describe it in words would be futile. As I drove home, my mantra was: “Thank You God. Thank You God, Thank you God.” I arrived home with a feeling of silence in every fiber of my being. I entered my “cave,” and prepared myself for bed. I pulled back the top sheet, sat down turned my face up to the sky and said: “Thank You God. Thank You God. Thank You God,” and slid silently into bed and turned off the light.
The tsunami hits home
I woke up at my usual 5am, sat up to prepare to get ready to do my spiritual practices. However, once I put my feet on the floor, my mind quickly unleashed the previous night’s experience with a tsunami-like force; its impact brought a flood of tears bursting from my eyes and expanded my heart like I’ve never ever experienced before. As I sat on my bed sobbing and saying “Thank You God, Thank You God, Thank you God,” a wave of inner transformation was unleashed that had me spinning inside like a whirling Dervish for an hour. When I felt settled, I quietly stood up, bathed in this energy, and went into the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. I returned to my bedroom, made my bed, and prepared my meditation space. Opening my altar to Mother Divine, I sat down to begin my spiritual practices, and began the first day of my new life.
At the time of writing this blog post, it’s been 10 days since my birthday experience. Yet I feel like the next level of transformation has started the process of spreading and weaving its roots into every fiber of my being. Each day another unfolding is quietly revealing itself. In my heart I feel that what you take away from this blog will be unique to your understanding and growth. With that said, as a fellow traveler on the path of light, if you feel moved to share your take away, know that I’m open to receive.
As I was finishing up this blog entry, my Soul gently said: Consider sharing your mystical understanding of your experience of the song “Amazing Grace” in your next post.
So until next time, I leave you with these two kernels of inspiration to add to your light, love and good works:
Go forth and let your good works glorify God for the tongue and teeth may lie but your actions never do. Let the presence of the presence be present in you to light the presence in the other, for there is no other, but the One.
No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.
Thank you for reading my blog and for giving me the opportunity to share my blessings with you.