There was this poem I once read. It is called ‘Footprints in the sand‘. This is how it goes:
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
When I first read that poem, I was speechless. It was as if through this poem, God was prompting me to look back at my life and dwell upon those dark moments when I had thought I was all alone. I then realized that there had always been something- a clue, a direction, a sign that I couldn’t ascribe to anybody. Something to guide me when I was completely lost. My instinct would prompt me to follow it, and I would see light again. And then, I would learn to trust myself again.
But those were not the miracles. The real miracles were those moments when I would find myself caught up in situations that were beyond my ability. I would always approach such situations with fear for I was well aware of my weaknesses. At such moments, I would plunge into the situation, certain that I wouldn’t survive this phase. I would cry to nobody in particular. And then the miracle would happen. The universe would respond, and take up the burden. The most unexpected things would happen (what I would then label only as wishful thinking until they materialized), the most unexpected people would step into my life, and everything would be taken care of. It was almost as if a well thought out plan or scheme was being followed. But who could have planned it and tailored it so perfectly as to suit my needs? At such moments, this is exactly how I have felt- as if I was being lifted and carried by somebody, and then deposited on the shore, where I was safe once again. I would wonder if I had dreamt it all, and I would be filled with something that I can only describe as gratitude. A gratitude that would fill my heart with the invisible presence of God. I loved this feeling- it was more overpowering than the moments we spend praying formally to God. To me, this was the moment of prayer, for I could feel God flooding my being. In the gratitude I felt, there was God. And this time, my faith in the universe would be restored.
I have often felt that I am a child of the universe. At all the times that I have not trusted my ability to confront a situation and cried to nobody in particular, the universe has always responded- in a way only a mother can respond to her child. And this faith has made me feel loved, cared for, cherished and protected- a feeling that one cannot derive from mortal relationships with fellow human beings. I feel I have a universe to turn to, whenever I really need help. The helpless child in me has to only cry for her to hear me. I have often felt invisible chords connecting my soul to the soul of the universe- to the heart of life. When my soul bleeds, the chords tug at the soul of the universe, and awaken it to my misery. The universe then propels its infinite limbs- people, places, forces, and tends to me. I have also realized that I am also one of the limbs of the universe, and it mobilizes me when there is the need to tend to another suffering soul. Once we learn to recognize this power- the power of the central force of life that comes from the heart of the universe, it is impossible to feel lonely.
Yesterday, I had been to the hospital for a follow-up. I bought a thank-you card and some chocolates. I met all the doctors and nurses who had taken care of me when I was hospitalized, and thanked all of them. I especially thanked the sister who had stayed up all night in the post operative ward and tended to my needs. They were thrilled by the card. I meant every word of what was written on the card. And they are apparently framing it and putting it up on the display for people to see! Everybody was happy and I love these moments when I can thank people and make them see the worth in the roles they play. I love the happiness of the world, and I promise that until my last breath, I will keep making people happy…as often as I can!