Published in Issue 5 of Light on Light Magazine. Later re-published by the Daily Financial Times, Sri Lanka. Fall, 2019
Contemplating upon the life of Mother Theresa who said, “I am but a pencil in the Hand of God,” I see a humble nun who answered an inspired call to forego a comfortable life to serve the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. An authentic leader, whether serving in the slums anywhere in the world, or living a life of comfort, carries a humble heart that recognizes and honors the Sacred Life that is inherent in the multitudinous life forms across all spectrums.
I had the privilege of meeting an enlightened master who told me, “God is Love.” She was a simple householder, a wife and mother of five with an eighth grade education, who grew up in the little sugar plantation of Waipahu on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii. The great mystery of the Divine that is silently interwoven into the fabric of life itself brought us together in an encounter that would transform my life. An uninterrupted stream of the most exquisite exposition on the Divine poured out of her nonstop for five hours at our very first meeting.
She spoke rapidly, and I wanted to capture every precious word that was pouring out of her, but there was so much that she was saying in a language of the heart that was at once uplifting, inspiring, peaceful and powerful. She looked at me and said, “Don’t worry, you don’t have to try to remember anything I am telling you, for I am not communicating with you. I am transmitting to you, Spirit to Spirit, Heart to Heart, Infinite to Infinite and not mind to mind. Whatever you may need of what I have transmitted to you will spontaneously arise whenever you need it.”
Strangely, while I said very little about myself, I felt completely loved and understood. Though my eyes were looking at this simple, elderly Japanese lady in front of me I felt that I was in the presence of a spiritual giant, unknown to the world at large. I was blessed to spend the next 20 years of my life with her that signified a journey of profound inner transformation that was natural, organic, sometimes imperceptible and sometimes dramatic, immersed in the mystical; touched by a mystery full of awe, wonderment and a profound peace.
I went from a chronically tardy person to a prompt person. I observed how she never wanted to inconvenience others and impose upon their time, for in the world of form and structure, time represents the unit of measurement of one’s physical life. In every moment, she was respectful of every person’s life by being fully present and giving of her complete attention. Although there were often many people around her, I somehow felt as if I was the only person with her, so absolute was her focus and attention on each one of us.
Every Sunday she called me to have dinner with her. She cooked the meals with her own hands, wearing an apron which I see so clearly in my mind’s eye. All that she cooked was so delicious because it was infused with her love. She was luminously beautiful and I was always riveted by her radiance. I learned from observing her that in the seeming ordinariness of everyday living, such as cooking a meal, or washing the dishes, that the precious Divine Life is made manifest in its full glory, in all those little, simple ways that whispers, “Love is here, now, in this moment. Open your eyes and bear witness to its grandeur.”
Over the years many people came to her to hear her powerful, spontaneous expositions on the Divine, and to witness pure love in action. A spiritual community grew around her of people hungry to receive her spiritual wisdom and transmissions. She was a change maker because she transformed lives and made us all better people. She was an authentic leader because she led us back to our own selves where the Divine Life already exists and emanates from within the sacred chambers of our own hearts.
I learned from her that the actualization of the Living Reality of God in our lives exists in every loving thought, word and action emitted by each person, for God is Love, living and expressing in and through us every moment.
I discovered in my sacred journey with her, that this love is humble, kind, compassionate, pure and sweet. It is the immense power of that love that transforms lives that marks an authentic leader, who moves from that Sacred Ground of Being from which all of life arises, and to which all of life returns, but is at all times, inseparably rooted within It.
In the recesses of all of my interactions I hear her question that she asked often, “Can you love the ‘un-love-able(s)’?” The scriptures from the Book of Matthew in the Bible always came to mind, “I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me, I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink, I needed clothes, and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison, and you did not tend to me.” The Living Christ in the form of the “un-love-able(s)” awaits the sufficiency of our own spiritual development that ultimately allows us to see Christ in the vulnerable and marginalized who we must serve with love.
Everywhere in the world there are unknown, authentic leaders of transformation, who are quietly serving and helping others, making this world a kinder, gentler place. To these leaders who are the true change agents in our lives, my deep and abiding gratitude.