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A few weeks ago, I was taking the subway into Boston, and there was an older man at my subway stop, toothless, with a crumpled cardboard sign that read “Homeless Vet.” He greeted everyone who walked by with “Good morning.” As I passed him, I looked into his face, and the thought “This is God” unexpectedly passed through my consciousness. I turned around, pulled out my wallet, wished him “Good morning,” and gave him some money. “God bless you,” he said. I could feel my heart expand. As I boarded the crowded rush-hour train, someone rose from their seat and got off. The woman in front of me held out her open hand to the seat, looking at me and smiling, as if to say, “It’s all yours.” I sat down with tears in my eyes, feeling the angelic energy of the man’s blessing carrying me within the flow of life. God’s presence in everyone….
Then, yesterday I was sweeping the steps leading to the basement, a rather dusty, sneeze-filled task. Cleaning house is something I can only sporadically see as cheerful “service to God.” I’m usually kind of gritting my teeth to get through it. As I was sweeping the broom back and forth, suddenly, unexpectedly again, I thought: “This is God,” meaning myself this time, as well as the broom and the dust. If God is everywhere, s/he is here now, experiencing step-sweeping through my human form. Would s/he be irritated? I asked myself. I don’t think so. God, or infinite consciousness, embraces everything as a part of oneness. If I am God, as we all are, complaining doesn’t enter the picture. God, as me, would be dancing down the steps, broom in hand, celebrating another aspect of humanity/divinity on Earth.
“This is God” has now become a reminder mantra for me that re-centers me in my connection to something greater in every moment. It can be applied to everything, animate or inanimate, human, animal, bird, butterfly, flower, tree, chair, rug, on and on. If I pass a stranger on the street without really seeing him/her, I may be missing a direct encounter with the Divine. If I stumble over a stone in my path and curse it, I am cursing God. Why do it? Bless it instead. If everything is unfolding perfectly exactly as it is, then stumbling was part of my soul path somehow. I may only find out much later what the actual blessing was (perhaps to wake me up to being fully present!), but in the meantime, I need to remind myself that there is nothing that happens that isn’t an integral part of my soul’s journey, that isn’t grace. And that there is no one who isn’t God, including myself and every sweet soul I meet along the way.