by Lora Little
“As we manifest the love toward our brother, we increase or awaken our consciousness to a more complete fellowship with the Father…” (Search For God Book I Fellowship Chapter page 63.)
“…for, as has been given, all one sees manifest in a material world is but a reflection or a shadow of the real or the spiritual life. Brotherhood, then, is an expression of the fellowship that exists in the spiritual life.” (262-23).
While reading the Fellowship chapter of the SFG Book I in our local study group our experiment one week was to make an effort to communicate or connect with a stranger in a way that wasn’t our usual pattern of interacting.
As a natural introvert I felt apprehensive about finding a way to accomplish this particular assignment. However, I was going through a period where I was trying to re-commit myself to remembering the weekly experiments and consciously applying them. I was serving as the primary mentor for new members in our group and felt a strong responsibility to be a good role model for them.
Despite that, as often happened, once I left the meeting I got distracted with other responsibilities and duties and promptly forgot the experiment. That is until the following week when I was standing in line to check out late one night at my neighborhood Walmart.
It was unusually late for me to be out alone and this store was not in a particularly safe part of town so I was on alert. There were few people in line and most of them were not the family groups you might see earlier in the day. There was an African American fellow standing directly behind me dressed in worn clothing. He had a pack of cigarettes in his hand. As I glanced quickly at his face he looked puffy eyed and rough.
My initial response was to hold myself defensively and with a bit of anxiety to be honest. Then for some reason the experiment came flooding back into my mind. I had almost a knee jerk response in that I realized this might be the last opportunity I would have to be in the presence of a pure stranger before the next SFG meeting.
So without thinking I dropped my defensive posture, turned suddenly to the stranger behind me and chirped a perky and surely inappropriate “Hello, how are you tonight.” The suddenness of my greeting seemed to take him aback and he literally shifted away from me in surprise. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I realized how socially awkward my approach had been—certainly it was more of an attack than a polite greeting.
Regardless, after a couple of beats he regained his composure and began telling me that he was fine, just picking up some cigarettes on his way to work the night shift at a local company. He went on then about how tired he was since he had just gotten up.
At that moment he seemed to transform right before my eyes. He was no longer a potential and misperceived threat to my safety, but was now a fellow human being feeling frazzled as he went about taking care of the necessities of life. We were no longer the same people who had entered the checkout line standing uncomfortably trying not to appear to notice each other. We were comrades enduring the tedium of the Walmart shopping experience.
It seemed like a lesson not only in fellowship but also in oneness. Despite the differences in our outward appearances we are all in the final analysis really just brothers and sisters making our way through the world the best we can.
Of course, my study group howled in laughter as I described my Walmart comrade’s initial reaction as I literally ambushed him with our experiment. But they shared my awe at the end result and hopefully we all learned an important lesson from that seemingly simple application of the Cayce Search for God material. I know I certainly did and it is just one example of why I value the SFG approach so highly.
About the author:
Lora Little is a 30 year A.R.E. Member and a 22 year SFG study group member. She is an active volunteer with the Mid-South Area Team in Memphis, TN and a team member in A.R.E.'s ongoing search for Atlantis.