“Nature is full of genius, full of the Divinity;
So that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”
~Henry David Thoreau
I met a Sudanese refugee this week that immigrated to the United States for work. He is an amazing man. I’ll call him “Steven.” Among the many humbling and gracious words he spoke, what shined most is his deep faith in God and enduring love for ALL people. He said he “vehemently” believes in doing things that “bring greatness” to the lives of others as well as himself. Steven is thankful to God for granting him many gifts and abilities, especially using them for “doing right things for others.” This brave and radiant young man gets up every morning with a smile on his face, knowing that God is always with him.
Three powerful themes emerged from my conversation with this migratory, luminous messenger. From his own words, first, we are not restricted by anybody or anything except our own choices. Second, a loving gracious God exists and “resides in us, with us, beside us, around us, and among us,” no matter what our race, religious, culture, gender, or life circumstances. And third, serving the one human body of God and individuals in our local communities can bring abundant JOY!
After meeting this delightful new acquaintance, I headed to our lake house, which is a few miles from a community that has a significant new population of Sudanese and Hispanic immigrants. I stopped at the local big box “Super Store” for a few grocery items. When I arrived, I felt different. As I looked around, I saw “Steven” everywhere. I walked up and down the aisles and couldn’t get the smile off my face. I was beaming with the grace-filled lessons of Steven’s love and joy. My heart was expanded and with each and every immigrant I saw, it grew even more with love, compassion, and joy. And then, something amazing happened.
As I was gathering my items and looking around, a young Sudanese child made eye contact with me, smiled, and waved. With surprise, my heart leaped out of my chest and I felt the presence of our shared Divinity and joy. It felt like a deeply sacred moment. There were no words between us, just a profound, yet brief surreal connection. We needed no words. We saw each other. I walked off dazed and intoxicated with the lessons of Steven stirring in my heart.
A few minutes later, in the next aisle over a family passed by. Not paying much attention, I was looking at my list when a young Hispanic girl pulled her hand away from her mom, and shouted loudly to get my attention, “Hi!”. I made eye contact with her, returned a smile, and said, “Hi!”
Seriously? Again? It was as if both kids were reaching out to me to share a soul moment. I was filled with gratitude. There was a familiar knowing among us. Our brief eye contact felt like an eternity of deeper seeing and recognition. I began to feel a universal oneness with everyone in the super store. I looked around with gentle compassion and curiosity. What was happening?
When life couldn’t get much sweeter, a third young Caucasian child laying on her daddy’s shoulder, lifted her head just a few feet from mine, grinned from ear to ear, and with the light of recognition in her eyes, greeted me with an adorable and engaging, “Hi!” I was enchanted as I stood soaking in the mystery of this unbelievable experience.
I thank Steven. His palpable love, joy, and heart for service, created a beautiful resonant field that ignited something in me. I believe the same gracious God, and Divine spark, which resides within Steven, resides within me, and within all people, including the three children I met at the super store. Maybe, the three children simply recognized it sooner than I did, and reached out in remembrance to reconnect in a beautiful living experience of Namaste.
[The definition of Namaste (pronounced na, ma, stay) is both a physical gesture and a spoken spiritual salutation, which is the recognition of the divine spirit (or soul) in another by the divine spirit in you. The word Namaste translates simply to “I bow to the divine in you.”]
(Image found with SCiAF, Scotland’s Aid Agency sciaf.org.uk)
Yesterday, I was driving from Colorado to Nebraska and the song Beautiful Boy by John Lennon came on my playlist. The sweet voice of Lennon singing, “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful… beautiful boy,” pierced my consciousness and I began to ponder gender roles. I recalled the “beautiful boy” I had the opportunity to share my weekend with. He had soft strawberry blonde hair, a creamy sweet complexion, and the most magnetic, enchanting blue eyes. His tender, shy demeanor was captivating as he tried to disappear from attention. Yet, his icy blue eyes and celestial grin demanded a second and third gaze. He was a beautiful boy!
Following our timid introduction, the rough and tough wild boys showed up and consumed the time and space. The sporty, cool elder boy was there to host his cousins and keep the younger lads in check. And the youngest of the bunch, with his frenetic energy, kept things moving in a fast and furious manner. There was an abundance of the “stereotypical” rough and tough exuberant boy energy, and yet this beautiful-boy-magic continued to demand my attention. English poet Robert Southey (1774-1843) wrote, “Frogs and snails, and puppy-dog tails and such are little boys made of.” He continued by saying girls are made of “Sugar and spice and all things nice.” When did we create this epic story of gender specific stereotyping and for what purposes, I wondered? Boys are to be tough. Girls are to be tender. Period?
As I continued to gaze into his beautiful-boy-essence with my eyes wide open in amazement and wonder, I felt a calming sense of hope and inspiration. The world is changing and as the new consciousness emerges, we are wrapped in a nurturing awareness that has room for new definitions, perceptions, and descriptions. There is room for the masculine and feminine energies to mingle, blend, weave together, and balance in an appealing, aesthetic tapestry of our oneness. There’s no need to fear. The shift in consciousness will not stamp out or eradicate either masculine or feminine. It simply makes room for the true beauty of our wholeness to shine in the fullest expression of our exquisite creation. We are both puppy-dog-tail rugged with a sugar-and-spice-nice twist. We are a beautiful blend of both… a curious amalgam of tough and tender. It is time to embrace the feminine and create a new humanity based on harmonious balance and respect. In the acceptance of our true nature, we are both the feminine and masculine expression of the divine. We are beautiful binary beings. My beautiful boy was not a stereotype or label. His luminous presence of radiant wholeness was mortal perfection in it’s fullest expression.
Thanks for the lesson, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful… beautiful boy!