Saying For Today: We need to be awake spiritually not to miss when God shows up, and God is always showing up.
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The following happened during a month-long retreat in Silence a few years ago.
I am on a month-long retreat in Silence. The site is back in the woods. I walk outside after meditation and have an unusual encounter.
He is peeing, partially hidden by tall bushes beside the dirt road. This man is doing what so many men seem to do... looking down at his member, as though it might run off and leave the rest of his body.
I sit on the porch of the building. Most days, the only persons I see are the few who drive by, who live back in these woods. One man comes by daily in his little red truck. He has learned to anticipate my being on the porch. Passing, he reaches toward me with a wave of the hand. That gesture feels good. I am alone here, but someone recognizes I am alive, still of this world. Very good!
The peeing man does not know I see him. When finished, he zips up his pants. He sees me, apologizes, and says he had to go - a colloquialism for urinating. I reply that it is not a problem. I recognize what the need to go right now feels like.
The man wants to talk some. He tells me about good neighbors to the right and left, where he lives up the road, and the animals I likely see in the woods. I reply to him briefly, engaging quietly. After a few minutes, he speaks goodbyes, turning to his bike, saying, "I'm going to get my drunk ass home!" I appreciate his forthrightness. I smile, wish him safety. He rides off.
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What happened? A holy meeting. Communion - a Communion as holy as any gathering in a zendo, an ashram, a church, a mosque, or anywhere. Maybe it was an odd Communion, certainly not by a rite found in a prayer book or worship manual.
The Beloved shows up in strange ways, eccentric situations, and beautiful precisely in the miracle of the apparent weirdness. Grace appears to enjoy surprising us with its enjoyment - possibly, even preference - of nonconformity. That is one reason I have never lost admiration for Jesus.
That peeing, intoxicated, and cursing man was and is as much a being of Love as any I have met in my life. He is as holy as any roshi, guru, preacher, priest, pope, lama, or prophet.
Christ showed up on a dirt road peeing and, then, he shared holy Communion with me. How blessed I am!
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The Beloved, Christ, Buddha, Love, That-of-God-in-Everyone, Spirit ... shows up in our lives. Do we recognize it? Or do we miss it, for we are looking for it in a certain way? Or possibly we are spiritually asleep and doze through the visit? Could it be we are too busy to see God? We need to be awake spiritually not to miss when God shows up, and God is always showing up.
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book consists of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.