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This Month's New Thought Essay

I worked on the nursing staff of a hospital emergency room for 20 years. All sorts of people came through our doors and we were legally and ethically bound to take care of them all, even the ones who seemed barely human, the sad parade of homeless, drunks, and drug addicts, who came several times a week for years and years. Dealing with them was depressing, often disgusting or physically nauseating, and sometimes dangerous. I wondered how anyone could come to this. I knew that each one must have a story that we would never know.

I like to think I’m a good person, even considering my plentiful mistakes along the way in life. I try to be kind. I grew up going with my family to a wonderful church that was a great inspiration and support to me. But I don’t believe anybody has to claim a membership or pay dues to any particular group or place or thing in order to have the right of access to God.

I can see times in my life when God used me to help somebody that needed help, long before I ever thought of becoming a medical caregiver. I like to help; I care, and it feels good to be able to help someone. But I’m not anybody special. I’ve noticed that sometimes people who are important folks in their church believe they are more righteous and closer to God than some other people. But nobody can be closer, or not as close, to God because all of us are made out of God. His Consciousness creates us and maintains and energizes the very cells of us, not just some of us, but all of us. We are completely and permanently a “part” of God just as a wave is a “part” of the ocean. The wave is not a part, of course, it is a activity, an embodiment, an expression of oceanness.

I finally realized, after too many years of wondering and searching, that I have a work to do that God wants to do through me. I have something to teach, and my soul came here to give it. So I listen to the still small voice within, and I do what is shown to me, what is given to me, to do.

I’ve never thought of myself as being like Christ. I say Namaste, “the Christ in me greets the Christ in you” and I believe it’s true, but I have not really seen “the Christ in us” in everyone I’ve met. One day when suddenly I saw it, that shifted my view of almost everything. This I know, it is true: we are all sent here to help and teach each other. As Jesus had his assignment, so do we. So do I. So do you. So did every one of those wretched souls in ER, the drunks and drug addicts with shipwrecked lives and wasted bodies, even the filthy ones with lice in their hair and cockroaches crawling on their bodies inside their clothes. Each one had a message and a lesson, and taught it with their life.

Whatever truth we bring with us when we come here, we teach it with our lives. Jesus the Christ had a very large job to do and only a few years to do it, and yet people still are learning it, seeking the truth, and being healed by it or puzzled by it, 2000 years later. The drunks and derelicts in the ER had a smaller message or maybe many small messages that they taught the rest of us with their lives. I didn’t see it at first. Now I do. These are some of the messages:

“Do not choose unknowingly, what

And the hardest lesson of all to recognize:

 “My body is filthy

This lesson, the truth beneath physical appearances, is the hardest one. But t’s the one that sets us free at last from our own guilt, our disgust and revulsion, our resentments, our shallow judgments, and our own mortal fears.

When we know the truth, we no longer say
“I am not like you.” Because we know, “I am you. I have only chosen a different path. Thank you for showing me how blessed I am. I have more than enough, and I can give some of my compassion, some of myself, to you."