Never Met a Stranger
Dear old and new friends,
Dostoevsky makes an astounding claim when he said, “Love creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf and every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants. If you love everything you will perceive the divine mystery in all things.” Dostoevsky’s “perceive” is such a rich word which also means to recognize or discover.
Spring is an invitation to perceive what is hidden in a creation that is now exploding in a rainbow of colors. Don’t simply look at the majestic leafing trees; fall in love with Dogwoods or Redbuds and discover their secret presence. Spring has rolled over the earth’s dull browns and grays of winter with a lush carpet of vivid green sprinkled with countless yellow dandelions. Don’t simply look at it but fall in love with the emerald earth with her trespassing multi-colored ground cover and wild flowers…and so recognize what is hidden beneath. But while that’s all very poetic, how do you fall in love with inanimate “things.”
First of all, they aren’t inanimate but living tabernacles of the Easter Secret. To approach their secret, begin by choosing a single flower or green leaf. With Easter eyes gaze upon it, appreciating its beauty and wondrous design. Next use your childhood magic and pretend you are falling in love with the flower, speak or sing to it of your affection. Love opens eyes and hearts. Be patient as you pretend romancing a flower or even a common yellow-headed dandelion, and your heart will soon begin to experience affection. But isn’t loving people more important than loving dandelions? Of course, so let’s return to the Easter Event.
It is unbelievably difficult for us to grasp that our dead Galilean teacher wasn’t resuscitated! His friends didn’t recognize their beloved Risen Rabbi who was no longer Jewish, Palestinian or even a man, but now an incredible mystery that fills all creation and the cosmos. Use your Easter eyes whenever you look upon anyone, especially those unlovable and the stranger.
His holiness the Dalai Lama has a valuable Tibetan lesson about love for us. He has often said that “he tries to meet everyone as if they are old friends.” Try that the next time you encounter a stranger and see the difference it makes.