Posted Mar 02, ’16 – A Story: The Old Man

 

Lama Sing: It is mid morn on a normally busy street in a city, but this is a day of freedom from labor and so there are not many upon the walkway as this elderly man moves with slow deliberation towards his destination.

We can feel from him the burden of many years of journeying, and we look into him to see that there are none left that he holds close to his heart for all of these have crossed over the Veil. He thinks of them as he moves slowly along the sidewalk.

Abruptly, he hears a sharp cry. Glancing over he sees a small child who has fallen and is holding a bruised and slightly bleeding knee. Though the man is bent with age and has considerable difficulty in his movement, he goes to the young child and with great effort bends to extend a hand. The child, crying and holding his knee, looks up at the man and sees only the glow of light in this man’s eyes and a gentle smile that comes upon his whiskered face.

Slowly the child reaches out a hand to meet the ancient hand of the man, and they clasp fingers. With some painful effort, the man straightens up to lift the young lad to his feet. He then bends again to place his hands under the child’s arms, and though the pain is significant in his own body, he lifts the child up to cradle him against his chest. “Where is your home, little one?”

Now sobbing, his face buried in the neck of the old man, he looks up and points to the steps leading to a flat just down the way a bit. The old man continues his careful, steady gait, slowly moving towards the stairway. As he comes to the foot of it, he rests against the railing, still holding the child.

The front door and a young woman runs out, yelling, “What are you doing? Why have you got my son?”

At this, the young lad rushes from the elderly man’s arms and into those of his mother. She looks down and sees his injured knee. Glancing up to look into her son’s face face and then to the old man, her demeanor softens as the boy tells her, “He helped me.”

With the lad in her arms, the  mother moves down the steps to the elderly man. She sees the lines of the many years of toil etched in his face and can sense the emptiness of love that he has known echoing in the depth of his eyes, yet the tender caring of one who would stop to pick up an injured child.

Without a word, she frees an arm and bends over to place it around the man, and softly, he begins to weep. She leans back to look into his eyes and they look at one another in an exchange of love and compassion. “You haven’t had anyone embrace you for a long time, have you?”

A few tears move down his etched face as he smiles and shakes his head. In a deep, soft voice he answers. “But yours, sweet lady, is the one I have been waiting for, for it is given freely and with love. Thank you.” Without another word, the man continues on his journey down the sidewalk.

As the woman watches him, along with the boy still in her arms, they see the man begin to fully straighten, and  as though he is shedding years of toil and loneliness, falling from him like leaves from a tree in its season, suddenly, the man is bright and glowing.

The woman’s hand rises involuntarily to cover a gasp as the man turns and she can see the brilliance of a beautiful face looking back.

With a gentle gesture of his hand, the light comes and the man, known by the name of Jesus, is gone.

_______

When next a hand might be outstretched to you, consider this little story and that it may be He who reaches out to thee. Judge not by what is seen relevant to the Earth but feel the Truth in what is being extended to you; look not with the judgement of habit and conditioning but with the eyes of the heart that would seeth Truth and Love. While you may not know the hand you touch next to be that of the Christ, let that not deter you from knowing the Truth that lies within each one whose hand you touch, for each has that Spirit, that Light that is given by the same God as that found in Jesus.

There was no more injury upon the child’s knee. The woman was no longer impoverished or in need. The Way was opened for them because they both ― first the lad in reaching out to take the hand and then cuddle into the neck of a stranger, and then the woman who saw only goodness in the intent of a weathered man of the street and leaned in to appreciate him for his kindness ― gave what they had to give in return: their love.

Christ built a scenario in and about His being as the old weathered man that would provide the woman and child an opportunity to bring forth from within them a compassion and love such that He blessed them in return, a blessing that would remain at the forefront of their lives.

[given Feb 20, ’16]