Saturday, April 2, 2011
God Puts People on Our Path for a Reason
I am currently in New York for a research conference and having an okay time. It's not downtown New York or any crazy city like most people think when they think of New York. And the conference was okay, not too many people really stopped by to listen to my research, which was kind of a disappointment. However, the best experience of MY WHOLE trip just happened. It was another one of those "Wow, God! You really are here!" moments. It was a simple experience that didnt require much effort to find,nor did it require me to spend ANY amount of money. All it took was a little bit of listening with my heart, as well as some patience and understanding. I set aside my judgments and my self-seeking thoughts to really understand this gift God placed in my path. And boy, was it a gift.
Earlier today, I was trying to have a deep conversation with some of the girls on my trip about success,"changing" people...ect.ect. I felt like people were kind of resistant to my view points and not too happy with my ideas. Well anyways, we went back to the hotel we were switching over to for the night. While we were checking out the pool room, we ran into this old looking lady. She started talking to us about Ithaca, New York. She eventually told us she was homeless and shared with us wisdom from her life. She kept going off on tangents about people and events in her life, however I could sense that there was something there. I put the pieces of her story together and could really hear her in the depth of my soul. I felt tears creeping into my eyes as she started to cry about the loss of her brother that was a role model in her life and about the events of September 11. I could feel her pain, her message, and her suffering. Through her stories, she told us that we should listen to our hearts and be true to ourselves;not to let others tell us what to do or how to be. She talked about finding the simple things in life--not to chase after the material things. To find the appreciation for what people do for us. The other girls started to drift off and everyone eventually left. I knew that the girls were either really hot because of the steam in the pool room or heard enough of the ladies stories. This experience may not have been a piece to their puzzle, but for me it was the answer to some of my long thought questions.
After everyone left, I thanked the lady for sharing her story with us and for shedding some wisdom onto our path. I told her about my recent experience in Haiti and how I had learned about the things she had been telling us. I stayed and with the lady for another half hour as we continue to talk about life and listening. She stopped to ask me how old I was, and I told her 22. She seemed shocked, yet thankful that I could have wisdom at my age. She told me I have a beautiful heart and how thankful she was that I could listen to her. I realized at this moment my giving of time and heart became a blessing in this lady's path as well. She was truly grateful for my time of listening to her and not being judgmental toward her experience or appearance at all.
It was an unbelievable "God" sent moment.
At this point in my life, I no longer feel bad for people's hardships.
Why should everyone's lives be full of "happy" experiences. For my own personal self, it is my hardships that have brought about my pure and ever lasting joy. It is hard for me not to cry when I think about how Blessed my hardships have been.It has been sharing in other people's human experiences, hardships, and sufferings that have helped me to find pure happiness.We can go around "feeling sorry for others" not having homes, food or clothing.. but that may just be "pity-ing" them or making them feel less than us. Why not take the risk to dive deep, to understand the significance of this human experience of suffering in their life, and make them feel empowered and worthy? This was the piece to the puzzle I was looking for, and it was gathered over many conversations and events this weekend.