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Love and Light

By: Jaime Shearer
Are you ready for some inspiration? Good! Read this carefully, it's full of great lessons. It certainly was for me! I was in a meeting downtown a few hours ago, and two men asked me for money. You know the men I'm talking about-the ones with tattered clothing, unkempt facial hair and missing teeth, the ones who, for some reason, have ended up calling the streets their home, the ones who are at the lowest point of their lives and are struggling just to survive, the ones who are digging in the trash can for scraps of food and begging change. So what did I do when these men asked me for money? What would YOU do? The lessons came because I passed these men by, I gave them nothing other than a curt "no" and a flash of my being. And then BAM! within moments I felt convicted that I'd acted like a real jerk. I didn't smile at these guys, I didn't ask them how their day was going, I didn't even give them an inkling that I care about who they are (and I do. BTW. Because they are fellow humans sharing our planet). I had hardness programmed into me in this situation. How often do up pass by people who could use a little help? As I started feeling the aftershock of how I'd acted, I call a friend of mine and asked, "What do you think about giving money to bums?" I was truly confused about my own view on this.

You see, my background says to love unconditionally and give to the poor. I read the Bible (if you don't, just stay with me - there's a point), and it says, "...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40). So I started thinking ... I denied a fellow brother something that he really needed and in turn denied it to my creator - the essence of my being. This goes completely counter to my very core beliefs! I believe that I am hear to spread love and light throughout the world. I believe that by radiating love and genuinely caring about people, I make a difference just by being me.

I was confused because my actions said differently.

What did I do in this case? I spread NOTHING! I put my love in a box and kept it for someone "more worthy". I didn't even give these guys the time of day. I didn't connect with them or ask them their story. If they had been in a shirt and tie, or even in a polo shirt, I would have shown them more compassion and care. THAT is not spreading unconditional love. So, I started tearing up. After all, it's hard to admit and know that I acted like a zealot!!!

We all want to give to hurricane victims, kids overseas, and so forth, what about the people -right here in our streets? Why isn't their charity enough? I go home to A/C, cable TV, a refrigerator (and cabinets) full of food, hot water, a washing machine, and a closet full of clothes (you probably do too), and I denied a man $1 because he was on the street rather than in an office? WHAT WAS I THINKING? I'll spend $4 on coffee yet withold $1 (or $5 or whatever) from a man who is digging in a trash can? DIGGING IN A TRASH CAN!!!! Boy, do I have egg on my face right now. If you asked me for $5 I wouldn't hesitate to give it to you. What made the man digging in the trash any different? Does it matter what he spends the money on? A wise man said to me, "It's my job to give, whether I do that is between me and God. Whatever the receiver does with the money he's given is between him and God.

So then I started talking with my friend about how I could "right this wrong". I can't turn back the clock...I can simply choose to behave differently in the future. And get this! The men who were on the street-the very ones who didn't held two nickels to rub together - GAVE me something I am now passing it on to you. My friend showed me that I was given the gift of awareness. I am now aware of how I have preferred one person's situation over another. I am aware that I don't always love unconditionally. I am aware that my intuition guides me to naturally love others. I am aware that the old programming is no longer serving me. I am aware that I have more room in my heart for others. What's amazing is now that I am aware, I can make a greater difference in the lives of others by loving them no matter what their circumstances are. And now you have this lesson in your hands. What are you going to choose to do with it? Will you release judgment of others and begin loving people where they are?

The men on the street gave to me just by being where they are, in their circumstances, in their own trials. They gave a tremendous gift that allowed me to open my heart. Now I see them with loving eyes rather than hardness of heart as I was conditioned. Imagine the impact YOU have by being where you are!!! When you're struggling with something, when you feel hopeless and lost, and when you're on top of the world, just know that simply by being who you are and living in the moment, you are positively impacting, the lives of thousands of people as those two men did tonight. They had no idea that the gift they gave me was love, And that the gift I now pass on to you,

Let your light shine!!