Each morning, I dedicate myself as a vehicle for Spirit that day, ready for action, ready to give divine love. Getting love in return is not usually a part of my thought process or my consciousness at that point, nor-come to think of it–am I really “giving” love. It’s not mine to give; I’m just a vehicle for It to flow through. In other words, I choose to be open to whatever the day may bring.
Every once in a while, someone does or says something that helps me realize I’m succeeding at least a little.
One example occurred when I needed to go to our local hospital to have a chest x-ray taken in December of 2016. The receptionist at the front desk recognized me easily, a result of my many visits to the facility during October, November, and earlier in December to first (a) visit my hospitalized wife and later (b) address the billing situation. It always seemed like a good idea to bring cheer into the building; there is always more than enough suffering by patients and worry by their loved ones to go around. Why not smile a bit, maybe do my part to redress the balance? But I had not realized just how different I had seemed to some of the staff.
While we were making arrangements with the radiology department for the x-ray, the receptionist suddenly stated, “You always look like you have so much joy when you come in.”
Whoa. “Thank you! I try!” Ear to ear grin, never mind the body’s discomfort at the time.
Why is this worth writing about? Well…it’s a great antidote for the commercial news barrage of nasty, negative information blasted at us nonstop, for one thing. And not only the news, but the real world that never makes the news. Physical ailments, betrayals, dirty politics, genocide, misunderstandings, poorly cooked meals or no meals at all, you name it.
And yet there are sparks of light and love, God expressing itself through every vehicle out there…and somehow I retain the capacity to be amazed when the love flows in my direction from a totally unexpected source.
Valentine’s Day 2017 was a doozy. Pam and I had both nearly died in 2016. Our friend Lynette, in prison in Arkansas and having several physical problems ignored, didn’t do much better. Both women needed to feel some love from me in a big way; my entire “working” day was devoted to them.
Lynette’s collect call from prison was simple enough, wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day and thanking me for the multiple Valentine’s Day cards–sent because the first one I’d mailed to her (early) had been rejected by the prison mailroom for having an “attachment.” The clear plastic cover was sewn to the fold crease; they apparently counted that as contraband. So I peeled the inner paper free of the card-plus-so-called-attachment and mailed it back to her, along with two more ultra-basic can’t-be-contraband cards plus another a few days later, adding up to four. By Valentine’s Day when she called, three of the four had arrived, been accepted by the mail room, and delivered to Lynette.
The entire rest of the day? Pam time! Which is fine; she is my wife, after all, living six weeks out of every eight on her own in her mother-in-law apartment in Utah. She did only get one Valentine’s Day card from me, but hey, it was a good one! Thankfully, I was able to provide her with an extremely crucial Valentine’s Day present. Priority Express mail tracking, checked multiple times on the computer, confirmed that a package containing all of her key medications for the next entire month, was no longer missing. Oh, it had been lost for a while, right enough. Mailed from Sierra Vista, Arizona, on Saturday the 11th, it had left Tucson at 5:44 a.m. on Sunday…and then fallen off the tracking radar entirely. Priority Express Mail is “money back guaranteed” to deliver in two days, in this case by Monday the 13th by 3:00 p.m.
It had missed the deadline. I’d driven to town and told the local Post Office, and an email was sent to the dock in Salt Lake City.
Pam, in the meantime, experienced the expected difficulty in controlling her terror. For most of Valentine’s Day, she’d been difficult to assist sufficiently, especially long distance. But I’d managed, helped her get back to some sort of balance repeatedly, and finally been able to report that not only had the Salt Lake City post office updated the tracking to show the package had “arrived” there at 8:18 a.m. that morning (after being found who knows where), but had also been delivered to the Corinne post office where it was “available for pickup.” Never mind that Amy, Pam’s daughter, swung by there and missed their small town early closing time of 3:10 p.m. by approximately zero seconds. It would be delivered to Pam at her apartment on the 15th, two days late and qualifying for a full cash refund of the mailing cost.
Not only that, but I had also been able to report to Pam that our brand new Dish TV service here at the Border Fort–after two months of no TV following cancellation of DirectTV’s less than stellar programming–was AWESOME. When she flies back home in March for two weeks, she’ll have the best-ever TV to watch in her room. YAY!
Finally, it was supper time. I’d pretty much given my all; I was thoroughly drained. But chow at the Country House Restaurant in my favorite booth, among wait staff who all know me as a regular, with peace and quiet and a great fantasy read on my Kindle, that would fix me right up. And it did. The sun had set by the time I finished my meal, ordered apple pie ala mode for dessert, finished that, and decided I’d stalled as long as I could. But the ticket was wrong; only the dessert showed on it, a total of $3.39 for what should have been a whole lot more than that.
“A whole lot more needs to be added to this ticket,” I told Stacey, the blonde cashier with the pony tail down her back.
She smiled up at me, eyes a-twinkle. “No it doesn’t!”
“Oh? Why not?”
“Somebody paid your bill.”
Well, slap me silly and tickle me with a feather.
It took a little prompting, but Stacey eventually told me the whole story. A “couple with a young baby” had told their waitress, pointing to me across the entire restaurant, “We want to pay for that gentleman’s meal, but don’t tell him till we’re gone.” They hadn’t known, of course, that I would order dessert after they’d departed the premises.
Wow. Had they seen the cowboy in the corner booth, eating alone on Valentine’s Day, concluded he must not have a woman in his life, and decided to brighten the “lonely” fellow’s day? They must have–and they did! “Regulars?” I asked Stacey.
“Never seen them before in my life.”
An event like that is a great reminder that no matter what the circumstances and conditions of the moment may entail, this world really is designed with you in mind, arranged for your spiritual benefit, with beauty and love for all. It’s mighty easy to forget that, sometimes, but true nonetheless. And just in case those sneaky, anonymous good Samaritans happen to read this post, THANK YOU.