This morning I am prompted to write about a diminutive Zapotec elder named Enrique whom I was fortunate to meet in 1992. I had traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, for a Jungian retreat titled “Faith and Dreams: The Archetype of Healing”. The 10-day event took place during Day of the Dead festivities. During the first three days, we were split into groups of three. Each group was assigned to a Zapotec household to participate in the preparations for and enactment of traditional ceremonies to honor deceased relatives.
At one point, I had the shameful realization that, had I passed Enrique on the street in my country, I would have walked right on by him. His clothing was shabby and dirty from years of working in the fields of his farm. I would have missed seeing the twinkle in his eyes, missed hearing his thoughtfully offered questions about our cultural differences, missed receiving the wisdom gleaned from the adversities and the gifts of his life. I would have missed spending precious time with a man who opened his heart fully to those of us whom he and his lovely wife Concepcion had invited into their home. I would have missed all of this because I would have judged him by the clothing he wore.
I was humbled by this experience. And I am grateful. Regardless of the exterior packaging, there is a beautiful spirit residing in every single expression of God’s Creation. My intention has shifted to looking beyond what seems to be, to moving past the façade in order to connect with what IS. I am not perfect in this intention, but it has become a guiding and fruitful practice. Each day proof is provided that we are surrounded by so many precious beings in this world who are waiting to be recognized. And when this happens, the exchange is pure gold. Better than gold! It's an exchange of Holy Love.
©Barbara J Woolley, Spiritual Messenger, Sunday, August 13, 2023.