Friday, February 5, 2016

The Man in the Forest

Being in nature is a passion of mine.  When I’m in nature, I feel closest to Spirit.  One day while walking a path through a beautiful forest, I was coming up on a clearing when I noticed some movement in the distance.  I quietly moved closer to see what was going on and saw about a dozen deer standing around a man.  The man was petting them and it seemed like they were having a conversation. 

Moving forward to try to hear better, I stepped on a twig causing it to snap.  Suddenly, the herd looked in my direction and then fled into a grove of trees.  The man slowly turned to see what startled them and our eyes met.  It couldn’t be!  I started to walk towards him and sure enough it was!  Excitedly I squealed, “Jesus!  What are you doing out here!?!”  In his quiet voice he replied, “I like to come out into nature to commune with the wildlife and enjoy Mother Nature’s energy.  What are you doing out here?” 

I paused searching for the right words and then answered, “I love nature and it brings me so much peace.  When you’re in nature, it’s hard to imagine that there are any problems in the world.”

With concern on his face, he asked, “Are you experiencing problems?”  I knew that I couldn’t get anything past him, so I continued honestly.  “Mine are minor compared to so many, so I can’t complain.  I’m just worried about what’s happening in our world and in our country right now.  There seems to be so much turmoil and chaos, especially in some of the political and religious realms, as well as others.  We could be doing so much to help people and to alleviate people’s suffering all over the world.  But right now, there just seems to be so much hate and anger among some groups of people, and there are those who are promoting it and getting people all riled up.  It can really put me in a state of fear sometimes.”

Jesus contemplated what I said and then responded. “Yes, I know.  I see it, too, and it makes me really sad.  When I first walked the earth, I thought people would take my teachings to heart, and that the love I taught would continue to grow and spread to all people.  But that’s just part of being human.  Humans have free will and can choose what they believe and how they treat others, and many times, it has nothing to do with me even though they may say it does.  It breaks my heart.”

At that moment, I really felt what Jesus must be feeling and my heart ached for him.  With a tear running down his cheek, he continued.  “You know, Karen, even though I see so many of my brothers and sisters in so much pain that they cause pain to others, I still love them unconditionally.  I don’t play favorites.  That was the focus of my messages…to teach people to love one another unconditionally and to care for each other.  There is no reason for anyone to suffer, but because many choose greed over humanity, suffering happens.  I even said, ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Compassion and kindness goes a long ways.  Too many people have covered up the light within themselves and are living in darkness.  I and many other religions’ spiritual masters have been trying to reach people’s hearts, and our teachings have lived on in many.  I also know that love is strong and the light always overcomes any darkness.  I see many of you spreading that love and light.  Soon, all the darkness you are seeing in so many and in the world will fade and you will see that love and peace will prevail.”

“Jesus, do you think the various religions will ever stop fighting over who is right and who is wrong, and who has the only one God?”  A smile came across Jesus’ face and he answered, “Karen, God is big enough to be in all religions and speak through all people.  Remember, he created all life on earth; all people are his children, and he loves every single one of them…including you.  As do I.”

Suddenly, a noise caught my attention and I turned to see what it was.  When I turned back to say something else, he was gone.  He did it to me again!

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”  John 14:27  

Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper February 5, 2016.


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