Friday, June 27, 2008

A Brief Encounter With Divinity

Leaving the ENT's office yesterday afternoon after getting some sobering news, I was entering the foyer of the medical office to exit the building. My brother from another mother and volunteer transportation officer, Miron, went off to answer a call to nature and I had a few minutes to sit by myself. My mind was focused on what the doctor had told me about the progress in my battle with cancer (more on this in a future post) and I as not really paying attention to my surroundings.

Eventually, I looked up at the sound of two voices in the center of the foyer. An elderly couple were preparing to exit and they were getting the parking toll fee ready by counting out wrinkly single dollar bills from each of their pockets. The elderly woman was talking softly and motioning to the the gentleman in the wheel chair. The elderly man, who was speaking in short, almost inaudible and indiscernible tones, was trying his best to communicate. The woman was kind and reassuring, keeping the focus on the present moment and away from the elderly gentleman's discomfort. Her attention to his wellness and well being shown in her patience and understanding along with her humble service to his needs. She constantly repeated phrases to him that his benighted ears couldn't hear, never losing patience. She treated him with a loving kindness that was the essence of what great art and poetry is made of.

The grace demonstrated to me in the span of thirty seconds left me astounded, It occurred to me that what I was witnessing was not two elderly people discussing getting their car from the parking deck to their destination, but the substance of what the world's religions teaches us about divinity. There before me was two very frail, very average and unassuming old folks who in the winter of life shone with new life.

There was only strength that came from the bond they shared in their infirmness, in their impermanence, in their weakness. By serving each other, by being there for one another, by a conviction to see their task accomplished. Together, in the present moment, the couple were nothing short of a picture of divinity. No complaining, no outward reliance on anyone or anything, no self-pity or need for attention, they just were there for each other. You could tell that they had learned some very high order spiritual lessons by their actions. It's amazing what love can do to show strength and power in old age and weakness. Lesson learned-now to go and practice and share.

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