Find a Way to Love Everyone You See and the Glow of God Will Surround You
By Michael H. Brown
Recently we read the account of a person who, like so many others -- like others upon whom we have reported and will continue to report -- had a near-death experience that changed his life, even his mindset in taking a stroll. "I used to walk down the street in my own little world, with my mind on a dozen different little problems," he recalled to a medical researcher. "Now I walk down the street and I feel I am in an ocean of humanity. Each person I see, I want to get to know, and I am certain that if I really knew them I would love them."
Such powerful words! And when we meditate on them, they ring true. We heard the same once from a priest who said that when we get to the "other side," we're going to find out that most people were better than we thought.
Think of that! Think of all who are around you. Watch the people you see today. What are your first thoughts? Are you negative about the way they dress, or their very looks? Are you looking to love them or searching for antagonism? Do you criticize the way they work, drive, or otherwise handle themselves -- their lives?
These are crucial questions because the entire test of life is to love -- first, God, then each other. It's what Jesus taught. It's right there in the Commandments. If we don't love, religion is pointless.
Yet so often, we stray from this. We find what we believe are legitimate reasons to dislike somebody and often just about everyone who isn't just like us. They cut ahead of us on the highway. They give us a dirty look. They take too long at the checkout.
Yes, people can be inconsiderate, even nasty, and yet when we try to look at them as Christ would look, when we peal away their veneers -- when we imagine the hardships they've endured, the fears, the feelings that are at the root of their dispositions -- we can find an affinity for them. We see them as Jesus sees them -- and we see Jesus in them.
Consider that the tough exterior of most people is caused by past hurts, fears, or feelings of inadequacy.
This is key: during life and its many trials all of us develop layers of one thing or another and these layers, these "veneers," often affect the very way we look. There is a hardness. The word "crusty" is a fitting one. There is selfishness that can enshroud us as an actual darkness.
But we are asked by God to disregard all the negatives in those we meet and instead see them as His children.
Sometimes this takes practice! It can also take a good imagination. But it leads to a wonderful inner feeling when we imagine the goodness in everyone -- when we mentally strip away the layers of crust, of rust, of hardness -- instead of focusing on them critically.
This is what is known as "unconditional" love, and it grants us great spiritual advancement. It helps in our eternity. We are not ready for direct entry into Heaven without it. It also strips away our own veneer. It allows brightness to shine through us. It gives us that holy aura. God is love, and when we love, He transmits through us! No matter our physical "looks," the more we love, the more beautiful we appear. We actually glow!
Difficult? You bet! Often, well-nigh impossible.
Or is it?
Often we forget to pray for basic things like how to love -- and we forget that no matter how hard it is to love someone or everyone, wit
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