I had gotten up early in the morning for a doctors appointment. To get up that early is nothing short of a miracle for me. I went to the alleyway to throw away some garbage. When I walked up the stairs to get to the side walk that's when I saw a man passed out right in front of the building stoop.
The man was half conscious and drunk out of his mind. He wore clothes that didn't seem dirty which lead me to believe he might not be homeless. In his hand he clutched a cane. A woman who had walked by asked if he needed an ambulance. I gently shook him and asked if he needed one. He understood enough to open his eyes and nod his head. The woman then walked across the street and borrowed the cell phone of another passer by to dial 911. As the woman called I sent Vortex healing structures all throughout the man's system. While the lady and I waited for the ambulance there were many people who passed by who feigned concern. One woman put her hand to her lips with an expression of grievous concern..... then walked away. Another woman in a car complimented us both for helping the man..... then drove away. This annoyed the lady and I enormously. We would have preferred they simply ignore the situation like most New Yorkers do instead of pretending to care.
When the ambulance arrived one of the men who road in the back immediately knew who the man was. I was taken aback by his reaction which was of frustration and disgust. He said the man was a very bad drunk who had been to the hospital many times before. The man on the ground was asked if he had any ailments and he mumbled back he had Parkinson's disease. To hear that brought a whole new level of pity to the situation. This man was truly at rock bottom. My perception of him changed however the moment they rolled him on his back.
The man wore a necklace that on closer inspection turned out to be Buddhist prayer beads. He also had a pin on his jacket with the picture of the Virgin Mary. I observed this with silent surprise. Here was a man who had reached a terrible level of suffering but still held on to a modicum of spiritual faith.
When one sees such suffering you can't help but ask, "Where is the Divine in all this?" Ric Weinman once said he was able to perceive the huge amount of love, compassion and divine grace that occurs behind situations of terrible suffering. It indicates how all situations have a higher purpose. I use that insight in this situation. The spiritual belief that all beings are exactly where they need to be is a very challenging belief. It confronts a spiritual person on the issue of what they can control and what they must surrender to the Universe.
I imagine the spirit of the Buddha and the Virgin Mary were working themselves through myself and the woman who dialed 911. I wonder now what the future holds for the man lying on the sidewalk. Will the Universe save him from terrible alcoholism and death or must he simply play out the rest of his karma to it's very end? I look forward when I too can see divine purpose behind all people's suffering. I'm sure it could alleviate much confusion and heart ache.
To see the Buddhist prayer beads and the Virgin Mary pin brought home the truth that the Universe shines even in the darkest of places. I recalled that same insight when I witnessed the Twin Towers collapse before my eyes. I reached out to the Universe and asked why this was happening? It responded by allowing me to feel it's light resonate within my heart. To believe that the Universe can shine during a moment of such horrible evil and destruction is a gigantic leap of faith
I am thankful to the Universe for allowing me to practice compassion on that morning. I am learning that compassion is something you consciously choose with each new moment. When you make that choice you then become part of a higher purpose.