Wakefulness: Is this all there is?

Wakefulness is the day where we focus our spiritual practices on being present to the transcendent within our midst. But what I'm aware of today is that being aware of the transcendent can be viewed as a privilege.

Tonight, I was meeting with some men at the Emergency Winter Shelter. When I was leaving, one turned to me and said, "Pastor, can you answer a question for me? Nobody has answered it satisfactorily ever."

"Sure," I said. As I adjusted to another seat so I could listen more closely.

"Is this all there is?"

Now, I'm aware that for a man in an emergency homeless shelter, this is a profound question. He has nothing. Deeper inquiry led to the revelation that there is probably only one person he might love other than himself.

I said, after a while, "The Kingdom of God is within you."

He snickered and pushed the idea of faith away. Heck, I wasn't even talking about faith! But that making meaning was within his own resources. We kept talking, and I found the truthiness...

"We are created to become more loving."

"But love always comes to an end. People leave."

"No. Our purpose is to be in increasingly loving relationship with all people. A general attitude and growth towards love."

I believe his exact answer to that would be described as: *snort* "love" *snicker*.

I circled back to, "The Kingdom of God is within you." But expanded, "You define God as what has power in your life and the kingdom is what it looks like. That is within you."

During this exchange, my heart melted with love towards this lost man who is so searching for some semblance of hope. He knows all the answers and has heard it all before. I hope that he finds a place that pulls him forward into the future. While I was awake to the presence of Divine Love during this exchange, I can only believe that he was feeling the total absence of Love.

Heartbreaking.

Hopeless Dream via Flickr Commons by holosmoss CC (AT-NC)
Hopeless Dream
via Flickr Commons
by holosmoss CC (AT-NC)

One comment

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