The other day as I was driving I was listening to the song by Barbara Streisand entitled “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world”. I with many people have loved that song and its message. As I listened without depreciating its message I thought of a different message that focuses on a different perspective. While it is true that we need people for connectivity and community, it is also true that neediness can set us up for false altruism, illusions, and egoism. Another perspective would switch the idea to people who genuinely choose to care for others without neglecting their own self care can become more balanced in their care of self and others. Recently, I was subbing in a school that recited their school pledge which included “we will care for self and others”. So without negating the wonderful message of this song here is an alternative:
“People, who choose to care for themselves and all others with equity, fairness, and justice toward and for all, are the luckiest people in the world. They live life to the fullest while helping others to live life to the fullest as well.”
In Genesis 1:31 we read that God looked at everything (every living thing alive in that moment and all the living things that would evolve or develop from that moment) and God said it is “very good”. Other times it was good but when he looked at it all, its balance and harmony, its diversity and complexity, its propensity and perspectives, wholeness and parts, as a whole global village God said “It is very good”. All prejudices, all perspectives of tolerance miss the mark and mystery of the master of the universe. It is one truth the Truth that all are the same only different, that all differences are an invitation to expand the essence of our concept of oneness and unity to include the essence of “embracing all people regardless of anything about them and because of everything about them being welcomed and understood as part of their uniqueness and part of “Global Unity”. The Global Village where all people are embraced not just tolerated as part of the whole of God’s creation. This truth will set us free to be the people God created us to be. People of compassion, courage, clarity, confidence, and calmness like the waters that covered the earth before there was any mountains, or valleys, no sun or moon, no rocks or sand, no toxicity no torments, just the peacefulness of a sea of glass that covered the whole earth; a symbol of the Love (compassion) of the creator and the peacefulness (calmness) of the created. This is what God hopes and intends that we as people of earth come to: “Common Compassion for all living things Regardless of Anything”. Then we will have Universal peace and compassion from within us to all around us.
Camp at night and with darkening skies
This picture speaks to me from the island we have in Maine of a Biblical and Spiritual truth: In the cloudiest of days, when the lights are going out, when darkness seems inevitable, when the waters reflect nothing, there is still something that the “still speaking (through the Holy Spirit) God is gently, clearly, and firmly saying: “I shine my light across the threatening clouds and the dark waters saying, I am here always!” I am here through the darkest night and in the morning light, even when it feels like I am not here, with you or there, I AM”.
In the darkest and most difficult time of my life I heard God’s assurance that he was with me regardless of anything. Later that night I looked out from the shores of our 3/4 of an acre island, and from the porch of our 400 square foot cabin and I saw the immensity and immersion of one of God’s many truths. Hidden in the very darkness was a winking, shinning, amazing message of God’s love and light, shining hope across the horizon of that very darkness.
When my children were little, and the ritual of bedtime and praying was being established, I changed a prayer that I had been taught. What I had been taught was: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and if I die before I wake I pray thee Lord my soul to take”. I do not know what others take on that was but I felt it fed the anxiety of what if I die, what if God doe snot answer my prayer, and what if I forget such a prayer. I am sure whoever came up with that prayer had the best of intentions but as I paid attention to the words I wanted to give my children a sense of confidence in God’s light, love, hope, and presence. So my version:
“Now I pray me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, Guide me through the long dark night, and Wake me up refreshed in the morning Light”.
I prayed that prayer that night. God answered that prayer!
Footprints (the Original): author unknown
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed that he was walking along a beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. Each scene, he noticed two footprints in the sand, one belonging to him and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered hi and he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk “with me” all the way. But I have noticed that during the troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.” The Lord replied, “My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During those times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of foot prints, it was then that I carried you.”
Footprints an Alternative written by Donald Paine after living through a deep and difficult but learning and growing closer to God time:
An Alternative reading: FOOTPRINTS
One night a person had a dream. He dreamed that he was all alone, walking on a beach. He recalled God’s promise that “I will be with you always, in the darkest and best of times, even to the end”. He noticed at times in his life there were two footprints walking along the beach. During those times he of courses concluded that God was with him and at the other times when there was only one set of footprints that God had left him, that because of something he had done or did not do God abandoned him. Perplexed he asked God in the dream “why did you leave me alone at the saddest most difficult times”. God answered, “I was always and am always ‘with you’ . Sometimes you walked with me and grew in your sense of my presence, and love for you. At those difficult times, I literally was inside of you, strengthening you, deepening your faith, giving you hope and vitalizing your love for self, others and of the sense of my presence in you, around you and for you”. As a child who wanders off amidst the footprints of life has confidence that she is never alone so we learn the confidence of God’s presence always in us regardless of anything.