Thank you Ghandi!

This morning began like any other morning until I turned the page on my calendar. Then I began reading my quote for the day from Mohandas Ghandi, which read, “If you do not find God in the next person you meet, it’s a waste of time looking for him further.” I had to sit with this one for a while because it brought me back in time to when I was taught this lesson before. I wish I could remember who it was or what it was that taught me that I must look for the Divine in every person I meet. I think it was related to a lesson I learned while reading The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz who reminded me that if I cannot love everyone unconditionally, then I cannot love anyone unconditionally. It is a similar lesson. If I cannot see the Divine in someone, then I have to spend more time with them and look deeper into who they are to see the light hidden within them.

I remember when I was a member of the Mormon Church (that was a lifetime ago); there was a woman in our ward who was always so edgy, angry, and hard to be around. It was hard to see the Divine in her. Then one day I was assigned to go visit her because she had not been to church for a while. To be honest, I was not thrilled. When I got to her house, I could see her five kids running around; the house was a mess and not just the normal kid stuff. I remember telling her she looked tired and wondered if there was anything I could do to help. She just broke down and cried. She started to talk to me about everything that was going on in her life. Her husband had left and while they worked everything out she was struggling to work two jobs to support her and the children and had no time for things like cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. I felt so embarrassed by my original feelings. As I began to look into her eyes, I could see the light of God’s love in her. It was not that she was a mean person; she was just hurting, tired, and stressed to the max.

We put together a whole team of people to help her out. Some of us volunteered to cook, others to clean, we made plans to take the kids out of the house at times so she could have some “me” time and rest. As she experienced our love for her, it became easier to see God in her. This whole journey reminded me of the importance of continuing to seek the Divine in the person you are with at that moment. 

At the same time, I am also mindful that sometimes I have had to physically leave a relationship in order to see the Divine in someone. This was especially true when I was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. I know that deep within this person was evidence of the Divine. Even after the years of abuse, I know that this is true. I also know that it is hard to find that light in this person because it is buried under piles of pain, hurt, and anger.

Some people are easier to find the Divine in than others, however, today I am intentionally remembering that the light of the Divine exists somewhere in everyone, even if it is no bigger than a grain of sand.