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Touched By Greatness

Do you know the scenes in movies where the main character has this sudden flashback of their life?
Images flood the screen, cutting faster and faster from one scene to the next scene. It’s usually accompanied by a flapping sound of wings.
I just had one of those kinds of moments in my life.
It started with a friend of my Zuill Bailey.  He’s a Grammy award winning cellist.
I was talking to Rocky, my wife, yesterday about all the trouble we got into as teenagers. I was also telling Rocky about how he had the ability to play music in the correct style seemingly just by channeling the composer. Like he’s a musical, spiritual medium.
I was playing that conversation over in my head this morning. Then another moment came.
One of the all time greatest cello teachers to ever live called me one morning in 2003. Stephen Kates was dying. He needed help getting some messages out through the Internet. He knew I understand the Web. He was my cello teacher one summer in California. Here’s his New York Times obituary. 
And then of course there is my closest friend in the world, Jamie Johns. He’s the musical director of the touring Phantom of the Opera. He’s a composer, director and pianist.
Of the endless memories I have of Jamie, one that pops in my head from time to time was a piano trio coaching we were having in college. This professor was commenting on his pedaling (a big part of the piano is how you handle the pedals on the floor). He said it was some of the best pedaling he had ever heard.
Jamie is super human. He performs in countless areas at extremely high levels. “Beyond human” is pretty much all I can say.
The images and memories just kept coming. PhDs. Lawyers. Teachers. Professors. Artists. Conductors. Priests. Ministers. Faster and faster. The images just kept coming. The people. The conversations. The moments. The places. All these moments of being touched by greatness. Over and over and over again. Like a story line that lead all to now. Leading to this moment.
All these great people. Coming into my life. Effecting me and guiding me in ways that I can’t even truly appreciate.
And then they stopped.
In my mind, I found myself in the day center of Second Chance Village. I was surrounded by the homeless.
I wasn’t surrounded by the homeless as people who were in need of me. I was surrounded by the homeless as people who I needed.
The homeless are now my mentors. They are are now my guides. They are now the great people I am lead by every single day.
I tell you this story because I want you to think about all the greatness YOU are surrounded by. That YOU have been touched by through out your life.
YOU are also constantly being shaped and guided by great people, places and things. They are showing you wisdom. They are offering you guidance. They are connecting you to knowledge and understanding that is much deeper than you can possibly understand.
This is how God speaks to you.
God talks to you through people you meet on the street. God speaks to you through songs you hear on the radio. God speaks to you through your pets. God speaks to you through your friends.
You Just Have To Listen.
While God speaks to me occasionally through the accomplished people in my life. He now speaks to me every single day through the homeless. They are more connected to God and the universe than any people I have ever met.
They have been stripped of the pollution of society that causes us to lose sight of our connection to the world and the universe. It’s like light pollution that causes us to not be able to see the stars.
They are incredibly connected and in touch people.
The homeless are like the Buddhist monks that beg for food and money so they can focus on liberating their minds. But the difference, of course, is that the homeless have been forced into a monastic lifestyle. They have been imprisoned into desperate poverty by a society that refuses to look at them and deal with them.
The irony is that these homeless become more and more connected to God by their society-imposed exile. And society refuses to look at them even to find a closer connection to God.
I absolutely believe God takes shape in the homeless waiting for the “believers” to come talk to Him.
Would they see Him if they walked right by Him as he pleads for food? Most can’t see God when He’s standing right in front of them.
God is that panhandler they avoid making eye contact with. God is the person they walk by at lunch begging for change on the sidewalk. God is the family down the street that has no food for their kids.
But fear not.
God knows that to look Him in the eye is incredibly painful and difficult. He still totally loves you.
I just want you to be open to the greatness that is all around you. Be open to the message that is being delivered to you.
 
 

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