When I go into town, I often see folks who are called homeless – at least, I’ve assumed they are, based on clothes, look in their eyes, and behavior. I’ve often reached out with a silent prayer of affirming that they are God’s beloved children, and they can be restored to a life of security. I mentally reach out to this stranger and affirm that I know that God loves them. I was never sure what else I would do, but I felt comfortable with these actions.
A couple weeks ago, on my way out of the dog park in the morning, I saw a man I’ve seen before, walking up to the neighboring skate park. He set his bag down on the ground, pulled out a skateboard and headed to the highest feature, a moderate ramp leading down to the rest of the park. This was a man who I’d certainly classified as homeless before, and was all set to start in on silently affirming truths about God’s man, when I saw him skate down the ramp. I then stood in awe for 15 minutes, just watching him skate. He wasn’t doing incredible tricks, or any stunts at all – this wasn’t Tony Hawk in disguise – he was just riding, smoothly and freely. He slid down into the bowls, came up again just as smoothly, crested around the inclined wall, and kept on going. He never stepped down to push, just letting the momentum of the downhills speed him into the uphills, and every so often bending and straightening his legs to feed more energy. All alone in the park, with Pilot Butte shining in the dawn light behind him, this man was skating more gracefully and powerfully than I’d seen anyone else here skate.
I was stunned. Here I’d been, all prepared to mentally reach out to this “other,” separate from me, and now I’m standing in awe of him. Suddenly, this man was not a faceless, homeless stranger. I realized I’d been striving to know that God loved him, but now I saw that I could love him. I didn’t need to put up a wall and stay on my side of it, while loving the fact that he was loved by God. I was allowed to love him – actually, I saw that I needed to love him. My whole thought shifted. Instead of seeing him as a homeless man who needs some help and oh what can I do, I could immediately see him as God’s beloved son. I didn’t need to wait for him to walk by the Christian Science Reading Room and poke his head in and THEN I could tell him all about God’s love for him. I was finally able to see this man as God’s child, RIGHT NOW, and this recognition just filled me with love.
Now, this story doesn’t have some amazing storybook ending. I didn’t rush over and begin a conversation with him, or anything like that. I eventually just continued on my walk with my dogs, simply conscious of the immediate presence of good. I had discovered more about the immediacy of Love. Since God is Love, and He is infinite, then the recognition of omnipresent Love includes all Her ideas immediately. So, instead of reaching out to someone separate from me, I have the right to see everyone as God’s image and reflection. This seeing, within which everyone has the right and capacity to see, brings healing.
It’s been really fun to consider how I can live this lesson of Love. I haven’t drastically changed my days at all, and I don’t really think that’s the point. What has happened is that I’m more aware of the immediacy of good, and how that immediacy includes each and every one of us. Essentially, this is a promise that we don’t have to wade through time or space to see the expression of Life – God’s immortal idea, expressed fully. Now, when I see a person walking down the street, families driving past me, or speak with someone on the phone, I see that I get to love them, right now. In Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science), I’ve read, “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but the dead body of Science, — pulseless, cold, inanimate.” (page 112, line 5)
We get to LIVE the truth of the fact that we are the loved of Love. How will you learn to see and live Love, today?