by Wayne Miller
I've been trying this last few weeks to come up with an inspirational idea to focus on for the SEARE Team monthly letter. Having committed to get it done this weekend I was still at a loss. Then this morning Martha sent the email about the passing of her brother-in-law Tom and it triggered something in me.
I once had a Guru and he preached Satsang, service and meditation. Satsang being Hindu for speak and be truth, service being give of yourself with love so that others can benefit and meditation being listen to God as he moves us through our daily tasks.
I have done a lot of service in my life with the A.R.E, the Lutheran Church I grew up in, and with my Guru. I once spent a month away from home helping to set up a festival that tens of thousands would attend. It was a month of giving and fellowship with some truly beautiful people. But the service experience I most vividly remember happened in my own home with my own family.
My mother-in-law had come to visit for a few days. I was at work when she arrived. She and my wife immediately sat down and started to catch up and share. I got home about three hours later. They continued to talk for another hour and by that time I sensed that if there were to be dinner that night I was cooking.
So I proceeded to make a nice meal for the three of us and set the table. I was happy to do it. When all was ready I called the ladies to dinner and we ate and they continued to talk.
After the meal, as I was getting ready to move to the living room to watch some TV and unwind, my wife and mother-in-law got up from the table and proceeded to the living room to continue their talk. Immediately my mind said "What the F***! I work all day; I come home and cook the meal and set the table and these two aren't going to do the dishes."
Thankfully, the next thought was, "Well Wayne, now is an opportunity to do some service." So without another negative thought I got up cleared the table and did the dishes.
That experience showed me how any task can be experienced as service if we just allow that act of giving to motivate us.
Which brings me back to Martha's email. The thing that stood out for me was her inviting the angels in to embrace Tom. I wonder if Tom, who might have been resisting death, was able in that moment to experience through Martha and the angels what death truly is and not the fearful illusion that we normally perceive it to be. Was that the moment that Tom was able to let go and allow, without fear, because he finally was able to experience the truth of the transition we call death.
I believe that might have occurred through Martha's faith and knowledge, and the angels he was able to see beyond, so that fear no longer held him back. We never know when these opportunities to serve others will come, whether doing the dishes or helping someone transition without fear. I hope we allow ourselves to be open to any situation being that opportunity.
About the author:
Wayne Miller joined the A.R.E. in 2000. He hosts an SFG group in his home and attends a second group in Chapel Hill. He is a member of the Triangle Area Team and the Southeast Region Core team. He is also currently on the Management Team and is the greeter for North Carolina.