My dear friends, I have a confession to make to you all. Well, just two days ago I was thirsty for fame. I wanted to be the female Ghandi of the 21st century. I wanted to be the Princess of Peace. I wanted to be a Martin Luther Queen! I wanted to be GREAT. You see I wanted to save the world.
I wanted to soar across the land scooping up hungry children by the thousands with my infinite wings and bring them to my nest to feast on food I prepared for them. I wanted to be the greatest hero the world had ever seen! In fact, just two days ago, I swore that I would settle for nothing. less.
And so, needless to say, when only three people came to my open space in Room C for a prayer for peace, I was a little disappointed. Before I got on the plane, I imagined it would be hundreds.
But as the four of us prayed in a circle together I began to feel something developing deep in my heart. “Shhhh…” it said. “God is trying to teach you something…”
So we prayed and we sang and we prayed and we sang and we traveled up and out into the stars. Then, in the middle of the song, an image came raging into my mind and looked me straight in the face. I saw our small circle of four women and within it, the whole world was spinning around and around, feeling and enjoying our songs.
Something whispered: You are saving the world, right now. A heavy burden was suddenly lifted from my shoulders and I knew God’s Grace was working through us.
Later, I had an opportunity to ask the one, the only, Charles Eisenstein, a single question. And so, I asked my hero, “Who is your greatest inspiration?” He replied simply, “I cannot rank inspiration the way that economists rank the value of people and things. But I can tell you this: There was once a woman who spent fifteen years caring for her daughter who was completely paralyzed in a car crash. For fifteen years she fed her, washed her body, and turned her over in her bed to prevent bedsores. After fifteen years of this work, without ever saying a single word to her mother, for she could no longer speak after the crash, the daughter finally died. This mother! This is who inspires me,” he said.
Later, the director of the Red Cross Museum explained to us all: “We are an organization of 12,000 employees and 13 million volunteers. But at the end of the day it is about one human being helping another human being. This is what is important about humanitarian aid.”
At this point God is no longer whispering. No, God is shouting. Yelling for me to wake up to the folly of my thirst to save the whole world as if the worlds of our own lives are not enough.
And I am changing.
After these events I asked myself: “Who is the “greater” person? Mahatma Gandhi? Or a mother who diligently cares for her invalid daughter for fifteen years and then dies, nameless?” The answer arose in my heart and roared through my mind: “They are both equally beautiful, precious and important people and each of their jobs are essential to the sheer wonder of the universe!”
An Angel whispered in my mind and said this: “God has ears that hear the cry of a fly that is stuck in a cup of water that a woman left on the kitchen table yesterday morning. God has ears that hear the gunshots and bomb blasts of a civil war in a country on a continent between the oceans of a planet that spins around a star that shines like an ember in the spiraling galaxy of your eyes. God has ears that hear the thundering applause that is built of the nuts and bolts of slaps and claps of people who adore the way piano keys and strings sing beneath the fingertips of a man named Amadeus; of a man named Stevie; of a man named Elton John. And God heard it the moment your heartbeat was born deep in the belly of a woman you call Mom.”
And suddenly I realized that the song that beats from a child’s heart and the songs that sing from the mainstream through a trillion stereo speakers across the world are equal in weight and beauty and value. Suddenly I realize that my mom and Elton John are mothers of a common song and the essence that I idolize in the privacy of my mind are not far away but right here inside of me, inside of us all.
I cry out to this Angel of God: “Can I, too, carry this love inside me?!?! Can I too carry this love in my heart? A love that not only works for Peace on Earth, but also for Peace Within and Peace Between me and all beings? A love that not only accepts Nobel Prizes, but also a love that quietly folds pieces of paper into the shape of a cranes for the sick woman next door. Can I, too, have ears that hear the cry of a fly trapped in a glass of tap water? Ears that hear the cry of each star in the sky, thousands of them, begging for someone to just come and watch them shine? For too long I have compared and ranked acts of love as either great or trivial. For too long I have silenced the woman in my mind who cries for more music, more joy, more beauty as if I have ‘more important’ work to do than save my own world and dance in the streets. For too long I have passed the woman begging on the sidewalk because I was too busy becoming the Princess of Peace!”
“Yes,” replies the Angel. “You, too, can be this Love.”
And so it was. Just then I saw galaxies spinning inside of a little boy’s eyes. Then the child fell against the pavement and began to cry. I ran to his side and held him in my arms. For the first time I that he represented the whole universe. For the first time I understood that in that moment I was indeed saving the whole world by taking the time to rush to his side.
Now I know! Whether I am the next Marin Luther King or I simply sing a song of hope to an audience of one and then die, I will be happy with my life. Now I see that all worlds are of equal size and worth within an infinite continuum. Whether it is a world we see in pictures taken from outer space or the world seen by a child’s eyes. Whether it is a world documented by the BBC or the world that lies within an Edelweiss flower on the hillside or anything in between. Now I see that there is no task is too small, and no task is too large, for the incredible soul that you all are. Now I see that whether you are singing declarations of cease-fire or handing a flower to a little girl, you are working for world peace.
I see now I am sitting amongst entire worlds of their own. I am sitting amongst kings and queens, princes and princesses of peace in their own right, beautiful mothers and fathers, sons and daughters with fiery hearths of passion and compassion residing within. I see now that I am amongst a galaxy of stars in the sky of God’s mind and it brings me to my knees. There is no poem I could write, no sequence of words I could find, that could ever explain the beauty I see in each of us. Thank you all, truly, and deeply, from the bottom of my heart, for all the ways in which each one of you saves the world.
© Lyla Johnston 2013 J soundcloud.com/lylajune J