Two things I’ve been thinking deeply about lately:
- The gospels say that Jesus ate with sinners. That was it! That was the manifestation of God’s love for all people. He just ate with them. His act of eating with sinners was everything, said everything.
- I have committed myself to having compassion for all living things without partiality.
So last night I had a very vivid dream:
(I’ll call the character in this dream Sam. I knew Sam years ago. He was married to a good friend of mine. He had a gruff and tough exterior. Over time he and my friend separated and eventually divorced. He was mean about it. I found him hard to get to know and hard to like. I was personally glad he was no longer in my life. I preferred him out of my life.)
I am in a restaurant with a friend of mine. I notice Sam sitting with another man, a co-worker, at another table. I just ignore him and hope he doesn’t notice me. He does however, and comes over to my table. He asks me why I ignored him. Why would I do that to him? I come up with some lame excuses but he doesn’t buy them. He then stands behind me and wraps his arms around my shoulders, gently. He keeps asking why I didn’t pay him any attention and that I hurt his feelings. I feel like he is trying to embarrass me in this crowded restaurant. After a while he leans his head on my shoulder and still complains that I didn’t have any regard for him. I realize now that he is serious. I really did hurt his feelings. He goes on and on and I grow more and more disappointed in myself and embarrassed by his openly affectionate behavior. I make eye contact with his friend and motion for him to come get his friend. His friend nods in agreement and comes over and gets Sam, suggesting to him that they go get a beer or something. Sam sadly lets go of me. There is hurt in his eyes as he leaves me.
I woke up feeling very sad. I realize that I had withheld my love from Sam. I had allowed offense to separate me from another human being. I let barriers and walls rise between Sam and I, and distance came between us. I did not love him. I let his exterior presentation, his coolness, his abruptness, his own issues, and my preference for my other friend, to cause me to not love him. I am sorry Sam.
I recommit to having and showing compassion for all living things without partiality.