Nowadays, do you still believe in unconditional love?
We read of unconditional love given by Christ, Mohammad, Buddha, Gandhi, Dali Llama, Mother Theresa, other prophets, saints and holy people. Is it then only people of God who understand and practice this incredible love? Superhuman beings who have conquered their human urges to judge, condemn, pass sentence on other people and/or their actions or circumstances? To pronounce that they have sinned, therefore, are not worthy of the human race?
Is it even possible in today's world of "me for me and me alone" world?
Can total nonjudgemental acceptance of another person only exist in a perfect world? Nirvana? Heaven?
For an answer, one only has to look to people of ordinary means. People not necessarialy seen by the entire world or on the fashion pages, movie star magazines, or even the newspapers, to find unconditional love and even devotion.
Some are considered extremely poor, living in poverty conditions -- impoverished of material "things." However, these people, so filled with love and understanding consider themselves to be very rich in life.
All walks of life -- these quiet, loving people exist. Few in numbers perhaps; you may not know of them or know their names or faces because they graciously practice unconditional love toward their fellow man.
If you do not know what it is to be unconditionally loved, you will marvel if you are lucky enough to have someone love you unconditionally. It doesn't happen overnight nor magically. It is something that you could take for granted as it occurs every single day of your relationship with that person. You may not even recognize it until it is no longer there.
When you do -- you will know that you have been blessed.
It was 2004, a woman in her 90s in Eugene, Oregon. She opened her heart and soul to those in need and gave her unconditional love - acceptance to some who others shunned and considered worthless. Everyone who knew her knew she valued them and loved them.
She lived quietly and modestly but comfortable. Her husband had passed away ten years earlier. Her children were close by and she was very, very connected to and active with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She felt blessed to have such a family.
She was very active in her church and her faith was very strong. She knew that she was loved and needed by those that she loved. She had purpose.
Her circle of friends were fairly good sized and her work in her church put her in touch with new people daily. Sometimes, a person would speak to her heart so strongly that she did a little extra to show friendship towards them.
One was a man she was visiting who had been going through some hard times. She'd stopped by his home to say hello and to leave a jar of jam that she'd made. He asked her in and soon they were talking. She asked how he was; he confessed things were hard just then. She asked what was happening. He explained medical bills had taken his monthly income and there was still three weeks remaining in the month. On top of that his car needed new brakes and tires so he was without transportation.
Then he confessed that what money he had left, he'd been so depressed that he went on a drunk and spent the last of his money.
She looked at him in silence for a bit. He squirmed expecting that now that she knew, she too would turn her back and he would lose this beautiful, loving woman he had come to think of as his grandmother.
"Why did he tell her he had been drunk -- she was a religious woman for pete's sake, what was wrong with him!" he thought
"How much do you think you will need to fix the car?" she asked him.
Head hung and a tear in his eye he said that he thought it would take around $700. Way beyond his grasp at the time.
Without a word, she took out her checkbook from her purse and began to write out a check. She signed it and handed it to him. "This should cover it." she said.
He looked at the check in her hand extended to him. "Helen," he said to her, "I can't take money from you."
"Well if you can't take it from me, who can you take it from?" She smiled and asked.
"There's nothing that you can do right now about the money you spent on drinking rather than on food for the month, so there is no need to go into that. Let's just get you on your feet for now." she told him.
"I'll pay you back, Helen. It may take me a while, but I will pay you back." he stated humbly.
"I know you will." she smiled at him and hugged him. "Now, let's go get you some groceries."
With that she got up, took her purse and took his arm. "First, let's get a bite at Sizzler's, I'm hungry; aren't you?" she asked him.
Later that evening after Helen had dropped him off with a good supply of staple foods for the month, the man sat down reflecting on the joy he felt. The love he felt. He felt worth something. He was a member of the human race after all. Someone like Helen accepted him and loved him like her own grandson. The warmth enveloping him was so joyous he began to feel hope.
Then he looked at the check she had written him. It was for $2,000! A small note simply said, "a new beginning. Pay back when you can." When the shock wore off he cried unabashedly like he had never before cried.
Someone believed in him.
To read another story of unconditional love, go to:
Read of a mother and son who loved one another unconditionally.
A Mother and Son: Unconditional Love for One Another
- The Death of a Child -- War related or not--being a Caretaker
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A Homeless Group Down by the Pond
Not long after Helen had visited this man with her love and blessings, the man noticed a cold wind coming in. "it's going to freeze tonight." he thought. As he turned to walk into his home, warmed by his fireplace and heater, he turned his gaze across the road, down towards the pond.
He knew that several homeless folk had set up some makeshift camps amongst the blackberry bushes and foliage around the pond where they couldn't easily be seen. On a walk there recently, he noted some sleeping bags and evidence of a small cook fire.
He looked at the sky again, grey. He shook off a chill as he went into his house.
He went into his kitchen and opened the freezer door taking out a turkey to thaw overnight.
The next day he set about cooking the turkey fixing potatoes, vegetables, gravy, biscuits, dressing and a pumpkin pie. When all was cooked, he dug through his cabinets to find some plates, flatware and cups.
Filling a jug with hot coffee, he put the turkey and food with the plates and utensils in the box, put a role of paper towels on top.
He put on his jacket, picked up the box and walked out his front door. "Sure is a cold day." he thought as he crossed the street and headed for the pond. It was going on 5:00 in the evening and getting darker.
When he found the campers, he smiled and greeted them then set the box next to the cook fire along with several liters of soda and the jug of hot coffee.
"Thought tonight was a good night for a hot meal." he smiled. "Have you got enough jackets and blankets?"
One of the campers looked up and shook his head. "I'll be right back." said the man.
Not long and the man was back with 3 warm blankets and 4 jackets that he no longer wore. He lay them down.
"Have a good night and stay warm." He smiled.
The campers rose to their feet now and one by one each came up to the man and hugged him murmuring thank yous and a pat on the back.
There was a moment of silent companionship and understanding. They smiled at one another. "Good luck to you." said the man.
"God bless you." each camper spoke.
The man walked the pond up the trail to the road, as he turned he could hear the campers joy as they began to dig into their evening feast.
As he crossed the road to his home, he thought: "Now I know what it is to be blessed."
From that day on, he never judged anyone's circumstance, appearance or demeanor. He understood that we are all brothers and sisters of the universe. Each no less than the other.
He also understood that the cost of a smile to a stranger is something he could afford to give. A smile that says: I accept you as my brother or sister. I have no right to judge you. You simply are as I am simply me. No better. No worse than you. You deserve kindness just as do I.
Kindness has a way of coming full circle.
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