BE WHO YOU ARE

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. Neil Gaiman

The Disney cable network decided to offer a free month of movies. Yesterday, my family and I opted to watch the Disney classic Aladdin.  In the 1992 film, a street urchin named Aladdin happens to meet a beautiful girl (Jasmine) who has run away from home.  The two become fast friends and fall in love.  But when Aladdin realizes that Jasmine is actually a princess in disguise he understands that he is not worthy of her.

3_wishes_by_kevomacWhen Aladdin later comes in contact with a magic lamp, he is told by a Genie that he has three wishes. Thinking it over, Aladdin’s first wish is to be made a prince so he can then marry Princess Jasmine. But in the end, Aladdin’s true identity is exposed.

The Genie then tells Aladdin that he has one final wish left and can be made a prince once again in order to marry the princess. But Aladdin decides to keep his promise and free the Genie with his third wish instead feeling that he cannot continue to pretend to be someone he’s not, not even for the love of his life.

This movie may be a Disney animated classic. But it’s not only legendary for the story.  More importantly, it’s legendary for its simple, yet timeless message.  Always be who you are. In the end, as in the movie, true love will prevail.

But if the message is simple why is it so hard for us to be true to ourselves? There are several reasons.  For starters, maybe you are in denial and really don’t know who you are and what you want. Maybe you are still trying to find yourself.

As in the case of Aladdin, most times we deny who we are in favor of acceptance. Think about it. How many times have you denied who you are, how many times have you buried your true feelings deep within in order to satisfy or please someone else?  How many times have you kept quiet for fear of being ridiculed?

Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, said it perfectly when he noted, “Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive—the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”

We all crave acceptance. We all want to fit in.  But we shouldn’t have to lose ourselves in order to get there.  In a society that is constantly trying to make us something we’re not, it has become increasingly difficult to be true to ourselves.  For many, it’s a constant struggle.

Being who we are means having the courage to turn a deaf ear to what others expect of us and tuning into what we expect of ourselves. It means reaching within and being totally honest with ourselves.  It means not only being aware of but also listening to our deepest desires and being true to our own personal values.

By the end of the movie, Aladdin’s three wishes are granted by the Genie. They are:

  1. Make me a prince.
  2. Save my life and
  3. I wish for your freedom.

Likewise, I wish for your freedom. The freedom to just be you.

Call a Christmas Truce

“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”

Joyce Meyer

World War I was one of the most brutal wars ever fought.  Beginning on July 28, 1914 and ending on November 11, 1918, the war claimed more than 9 million lives and wounded another 21 million.  Soldiers for the most part fought the war in trenches and the area in between both sides was known as no-man’s land.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas in 1914, German and British troops began shouting Christmas greetings at one another.  By the time Christmas Eve came, solders on both sides began singing Christmas carols and soon staged an unofficial truce as many met face to face.  Some German and British soldiers exchanged gifts while others played football.  Roughly 100,000 soldiers were involved in the truce along the Western Front. In some areas, the truce lasted until Christmas Day but in others it reportedly lasted until New Year’s Day.

The following year, commanders on both sides forbade collaboration as many continued to fight a war they did not want to fight.  Over the years, this legendary ceasefire has become known as the Christmas Truce. Historians have noted that it was the close proximity of the trenches that made the truce possible as both sought peace during the holiday season.

Many suffered from shell shock and post-traumatic stress due to all the horrific traumas brought on by the war.  Today, 102 years later, we are luckily not in the midst of a world war.  But for many the holidays are a time of heightened stress and anxiety.  For some the holidays are a reminder of all we have to be grateful for but for others it is a reminder of what is missing in their lives.  Still others fall somewhere in between.

2016ericaandliabemerry

My daughters, Erica (left) and Lia Varga

Regardless of where you may fall or how you feel about the holiday season, I’d like to propose a Christmas truce.  In 1914, soldiers decided to let go of grudges and all the pain of a senseless war and instead focus on brotherhood and the spirit of Christmas.

Let’s face it we’ve all been hurt.  We’ve all been wronged in one way or another by the people who mean the most to us.  But this Christmas, give yourself the gift of forgiveness and let go of all the grudges.  Call a Christmas truce.  This is not always easy, I know.  But what most people don’t realize is that forgiveness helps the forgiver more than the wrongdoer.  It doesn’t mean that you are saying what they did is OK.  It doesn’t mean that you are condoning the act.  It means that you will no longer give the wrongdoer control.  Rather than focus on the negative and be miserable, you choose to instead let go and focus on the positives in your life.  Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  1. BE HONEST.  You can’t let go of ill feelings if you are in denial.  Be honest and recognize what you are feeling.
  2. MAKE A “POSITIVE THOUGHTS” LIST.  Write down some of the things you have to grateful for in your life.  No matter what is going and no matter how bad things may seem, you can always find something to be grateful for.
  3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOU HAPPY.  Spend time with the family and friends who bring out the best in you.  If you have no choice (such as family gatherings) and have to be in the company of negative people or those that I call “soul suckers,” try to limit the time you spend with them.
  4. ACCEPT THAT WHICH YOU CANNOT CHANGE. Accept what is and let go of what isn’t.  In other words, don’t dwell on the negatives and the things that can never be.
  5. LOVE YOURSELF.  You can never find peace and happiness until you love and accept yourself.  In my book, Make Up Your Mind to Be Happy, best-selling author and happiness expert, Debbie Gisonni, explains, “If you accept and love yourself, you’ll naturally be at peace inside. Peace enables you to respect others beliefs, even when they’re different than your own, or walk away from arguments.    Next time you’re around that one relative that always pushes your buttons, don’t argue with them, don’t disagree…just let them be.

Just yesterday I went to the mall and came across a sign that read “Be happy.  It makes the haters miserable.”  It brought a smile to my face as I thought about the unfortunate truth to those words.  Honestly, though, the only person who can make you happy is you.  Likewise, the only person who can make you unhappy is you.

It makes no difference what is going on around you and all the difference what is going on inside you.  What you focus on—both good and bad—expands.  So this holiday season, call a truce.  Focus on the positives, let go of the negatives and be merry.

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season!

A Heavenly Thank You

 “Those who love never truly leave us, Harry.  There are things that death cannot touch.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter

deanstuart-2

Figure 1: Josie Varga, Dean Foy, Stuart James & Holly Seeger

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a séance with two English mediums, Stuart James and Dean Foy.  The event was co-sponsored by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, a leading expert in the paranormal and the author of several best-selling books.

James and Foy went around the room doing gallery-type readings and then a séance followed.  The highlight of the evening for me is what happened at the end.  Rosemary came up to me and told me that Stuart wanted a word with me.

I walked over to him and we found a somewhat private area to chat.  He began the conversation by telling me that he had a personal message for me.  “I have a man who passed on 9/11 with a message for you.  Do you understand this?”

Honestly, I was stunned and thought maybe I had misunderstood so I asked him to repeat himself.  Again, he said, “I have man here who passed on 9/11.  Do you understand this?”

For those of you who may not know, my career writing about spiritual phenomena and my book, Visits from Heaven, began because of a lucid dream I had in which my husband’s friend who passed on 9/11 came to me with a message for his wife.  I had never met Rich or his family yet I knew it was him and the message was later validated by his family.  The experience shook me to the core and changed my life leading me to write my books.

So as Stuart was saying this to me last week I could hardly believe what I was hearing.  I told him, however, that I did understand.  He went on to tell me that this man wanted to thank me and let me know how proud he was of me and everything that I am doing.  “He wants me to remind you that you have been led to do what you are doing.  And he said he is excited about the show.”

I was dumbfounded as I listened.  Truthfully, my encounter with Rich can be found in my books and online.  So the story is public knowledge.  However, these mediums are from England and were not given the names of anyone in attendance prior to the event.

Suddenly, Stuart looked at me and told me to wait there because he had something to show me.  He went over to retrieve his IPad out of his bag and came back over to me as he pulled up a screen.  “Here, look at this,” he told me.    He explained that two weeks prior to the event he had meditated and asked any spirit who had a message for someone who would be in attendance to come forward. He showed me his notes from that day.  His notes read something like, “Man from 9/11 wishes to say thank you.”

I stared at his notes speechless for a few seconds.  He went on to explain that as the other medium (Dean Foy) was speaking, Rich came to him and said, “Don’t forget to tell her that I said thank you.”  Stuart said that Rich then pointed me out to him in the group.  This is how he knew exactly who I was and was able to have Rosemary approach me at the end.

Another highlight of the evening was a message that I received from Dean Foy.  He walked up to about three people seated in a circle and said, “I have a private message for you, you and you.  Please see me afterwards.”  I was one of the three.

Dean told me that he had a message from my spirit guide or angel.  He said, “I’m being told that in July you are going to be faced with a big decision.  You are going to have an opportunity.  I getting the first two weeks of July.  Don’t rush and say, yes; give it some thought first.”

Having heard this, I wondered if this meant that it was not a good thing.  Dean, however, told me that all was good.  He said perhaps I was going to receive a better offer and that’s why I was being told not to rush into things.  He told me that the opportunity would affect me both on a personal and professional level.  He thought it might have something to do with the Visits from Heaven show.

Over the past few years, I have been working with Producer Holly Seeger on a television pilot based on my book, Visits from Heaven.  It has been a long journey but things are finally coming to completion.  So, obviously, I was very happy to hear both Stuart and Dean reference the show.

One interesting thing thseance42at I’d like to mention here is that I wasn’t sure if I could attend the event.  My oldest daughter plays volleyball and this was playoff season.

By the time, I told Rosemary that I could attend, the event had already been sold out.

Figure 2: Joe Redmiles, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Josie Varga & Holly Seeger 

Rosemary, however, graciously called the host for me and my husband and I were able to attend.  So while I might not have been sure if I was going to be able to attend last week, Rich already knew that I would be there.

WHEN DO THEY MOST OFTEN COMMUNICATE?

It takes a great deal of energy for our deceased loved ones to get messages to us in the physical realm.  It is easiest for them to contact us when we are not easily distracted which is one of the reasons why they most often come to us in our dream state.

They also communicate with us during both happy and difficult times.  When they were here on this Earth, they would be there for us.  It is no different now.  They still want to wish us a Happy Birthday or acknowledge a special occasion.  And they still want to be there for us during hard times.   And much like Rich did last week, they will reach out to us with specific messages.

People are always asking me if their loved ones can see them in the shower or having sex.  Can our loved ones see us in the shower?  Yes, they can.  Can our loved ones see us having sex?  Yes, of course, they can.  But they don’t care about those things the way that they did when they were in the flesh.  And they won’t want to or care to violate our privacy.   And if they do happen to see us in the shower, they don’t judge us. It’s just normal human behavior and they understand that.

The thing to remember here is that our deceased loved ones are still very much a part of our lives.  As this surprise message from Rich clearly shows, our deceased loved ones are aware of everything going on in our lives.  And when that day comes when we too shall pass, we will meet again, our love unbroken, as though nothing has changed.

This is not the first time that my husband’s friend Rich has come through to thank me.  While I deeply appreciate his gratitude, I must be honest.  I’m the one who owes him all of my thanks and gratitude.  If it weren’t for his initial visit from heaven, I would certainly not be where I am today.  I have no doubt—as Rich reminded me—that I was led to do what I do.  Truthfully, I don’t know if my work will ever be done but, for now, at least I know it’s started.

Death is Just a Comma

“Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” ― Mitch Albom

Death it is said is a painful reminder that life is just too short. While this is true death is also more importantly, in my opinion, a reminder that nothing is stronger than the bonds of love. As Thomas Campbell once said, “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

neverendingcommaTrue. But I would take this a step further and say that love also lives on in the spirit of our loved ones on the other side of the veil. Love is not just an emotion you feel, it is a connection you have with someone else. This connection is unending. It’s always there.

Sure, after someone dies, things change. We can no longer see our loved ones in the physical as we always did. But it does not mean they are not still there in spirit. Recently, my sister in law Shari lost her mother after a long battle with cancer. Her brother flew home from Florida to be there with his mother but she passed shortly before he arrived.

Of course, he was very upset as he wanted to be there with his mother. But I reminded him that now his mother can be with him no matter where he is. Once our loved ones pass, they can still hear us; they can still see us, and they communicate with us in many ways to let us know that they are still around. Have you ever wondered what makes this afterlife communication possible? The never-ending love makes it possible; that connection that we shared on earth and continue to share in the hereafter. That bond of love we shared here on earth remains intact.

Scientists have long discovered that everything in the universe is energy. The computer you are looking at, the chair you’re sitting on, the trees outside . . . everything! This also includes our thoughts, our love for one another and the human body. Quantum mechanics has clearly shown that what we perceive as physical is actually not physical at all.

At the forefront of quantum theory was a Danish physicist named Niels Bohr. “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet,” he once noted. “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”

Bohr, for example, made fundamental contributions to our current-day understanding of the configuration of an atom. Atoms it was discovered are actually composed of vortices of energy that are always vibrating and spinning. If you break down the human body you will find atoms. And if you zoom in on the atom under a microscope through these vortices of energy, you would see nothing. Simply put, atoms are made up of invisible or unseen energy, not physical matter.

This is so incredibly astounding when it comes to understanding how the afterlife or visits from heaven are even possible.  Quantum entanglement, for example, is a phenomenon which shows that although we perceive the world and everything in it to be separate, we are actually connected.  Several studies have shown that although particles can be any distance apart, even across the solar system from each other, they are still linked together.  This was referred to as “spooky action at a distance” by Albert Einstein.

Even though our deceased loved may appear to be gone, they are very much still here.  This entanglement or connection if you will is always there.  Many prominent modern-day researchers believe that the concept of quantum mechanics actually proves the existence of an afterlife.

Former head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Dr. Hans-Peter Durr, stated, “”What we consider the here and now, this world, it is actually just the material level that is comprehensible. The beyond is an infinite reality that is much bigger. Which this world is rooted in. In this way, our lives in this plane of existence are encompassed, surrounded, by the afterworld already… The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal.”*

We are all so much more than we appear to be. What we perceive as our material reality is actually not material but spiritual. So simply put, since energy can never be created or destroyed, it always is and always will be. As Durr put it, we are immortal.

Death, then, is a continuation not an end. Death is like a comma but instead of connecting two phrases or words it connects the here with the hereafter.

Recently, I was asked if I believed afterlife communication is real and, if so, how is it even possible.  In answer to the first question, yes, it is absolutely real.  I would not have written my initial book on the topic, Visits from Heaven/4th Dimension Press, if I didn’t truly believe it.  This blog represents my attempt to answer the second question as simply as I could and explain how such communication is scientifically possible.

I once read that death ends a life, not a relationship. I both agree and disagree. Death will never end a relationship or bond between two people. But it doesn’t really end a life either. Death is just a comma in the never ending run-on sentence of life.

*https://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/4518-physicists-claim-that-consciousness-lives-in-quantum-state-after-death

lillianThis blog is dedicated in loving memory of Lillian Merlo Bartlett.  Lillian, you will forever be in our hearts as we will forever be with your spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

“There Can’t Be a God”

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Thkeepthefaithe other day my daughter Lia hurried over to the kitchen table where my husband and I were enjoying our morning coffee.  She handed me her cell phone saying, “Mom, please talk to Talia.”  I had no idea what she was talking about and asked her why I had to talk to her friend.  “You’ll see, Mom.  Just talk to her.”

I took the phone from my daughter.  “Hello, Talia (not her real name).  Is everything OK?”  I could hear her hesitation for a few seconds on the other end.

“Mrs. Varga, there can’t be a God,” she told me.  “My dad is dying and now I may have torn my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).  All these bad things are happening to me and my family.  Why would God allow all these bad things to happen?”

Talia’s thinking is not uncommon.  If an all-loving God exist, He would not allow bad things to happen.  Bad things happen.  Evil does exist.  Therefore, there must be no God.

Understanding her frustration, I took a deep breath wanting to choose my words carefully.  “Talia, I know you and your family are hurting right now.  But just because bad things happen does not mean there isn’t a God.  I know you are angry but I also know you don’t really believe there isn’t a God.”

I could tell Talia was holding back tears at this point and to be honest I wanted to cry right along with her.

“You can’t lose your faith,” I told her.  “Without faith, what do you have?  During times like this you need to hang on to your faith even more.  God is all loving.  God does not make bad things happen.  He allows it but He does not create it.”

I can unequivocally say that my faith has carried me through tough, painful times in my life. But this same faith has also been challenged many times. It’s hard not to let your faith waiver under the pressure of all the immense suffering in this world. It’s hard not to let your trust in a Higher Power waiver when we are hurting and in pain. But it is in these times that we need to trust Him more. We need to tighten the grip of our faith, not loosen it.

Again, God is all loving. Love is our true essence and purpose. In order for us to experience this love, we must have free will. There must be choice in love. If we are not given a choice to love or not to love, then it’s not real. And unfortunately, with that choice and with that free will, comes pain and suffering.

Think about it for a moment. With the gift of life comes many trials and with those trials come many lessons. There is a lesson in every experience if we are willing to listen. Through hurt, pain and betrayal, we learn humility, patience, forgiveness, strength, compassion and acceptance.

I honestly don’t know if my words got through to Talia that morning but I wanted to share this story with all of you. I hope you will use it to remember in both good times and in bad to always keep the faith. The sun forever rises after the darkness of the night. And what a beautiful sight it is to witness the sunrise.

Mother Teresa is Now Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Ostteresan Sunday, September 4, Mother Teresa was declared a saint in a canonization mass in the Vatican.  Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910, Mother Teresa was known as the “saint of the gutters” for her relentless service to the poor, the sick and the dying.  Pope Francis praised Mother Teresa saying, “Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded.”

After founding the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, she went on to receive numerous honors and recognitions, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.  She ran homes for those with leprosy, opened orphanages, clinics and schools.  She ran soup kitchens for the hungry.  Believing everyone had the power to make a difference she once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

In honor of this remarkable woman now forever known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, I wanted to share some of her most memorable quotes and words of wisdom.

  1. “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
  2. “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”
  3. “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
  4. “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
  5. “Each of us is merely a small instrument. When you look at the inner workings of electrical things, often you see small and big wires, new and old, cheap and expensive lined up. Until the current passes through them there will be no light. That wire is you and me. The current is God. We have the power to let the current pass through us, use us, produce the light of the world. Or we can refuse to be used and allow darkness to spread.”
  6. “Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.”
  7. “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
  8. “I see somebody dying, I pick him up. I find somebody hungry, I give him food. He can love and be loved. I don’t look at his color, I don’t look at his religion. I don’t look at anything. Every person whether he is Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist, he is my brother, my sister.”
  9. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
  10. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
  11. “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.”
  12. “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.””
  13. “Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”
  14. “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
  15. “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”
  16. “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”
  17. “Let us remain as empty as possible so that God can fill us up.”
  18. “Peace begins with a smile.”
  19. “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
  20. “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
  21. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997—a day which will now be recognized as her feast day by the Catholic Church. When once speaking of death, she noted, “Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity.”  Very true.  Just as the bond of love will be forever unbroken, Saint Teresa of Calcutta will forever live. Her love and kindness forever remembered.

The Good, The Bad, and The Compassionate

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

It’s a pretty scary world we live in these days.  This month alone we’ve seen attacks on police officers in the United States.  We’ve seen unspeakable acts of terror in Germany, France and Turkey.  This week a priest had his throat slit by terrorists at a church in France.  And the other day in Japan a man wielding a knife killed and injured several disabled individuals because he felt they were not fit to serve in society.

We live in a world with both bad and good.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.”  But when we are overwhelmed with all the bad, it’s hard to see the good.  It’s hard but more necessary than ever before for all of us to remember that despite all the terror in this world, there will always be more good than evil.  Evil will never prevail because good will always be stronger.

I once read an interesting post which said evil and suffering is actually a necessary part of God’s design.  The writer’s point was if everything was perfect in this world, we would not learn the true meaning of such virtues as forgiveness, courage, kindness, justice, mercy, remorse, generosity and self-sacrifice.

True.  But I would add one other thing to the list and that is compassion.  I’ve read many differing definitions for compassion.  Some state that it literally means “to suffer together” while others claim it means the ability to understand the emotional state of another person and having sympathy for the misfortunes of others.  All are correct.  However, the most important part of compassion in my opinion is that it involves the willingness or desire to help others and alleviate their suffering in any way possible.

I was born with a disability known as cerebral palsy.  On April 12 of this year, I underwent surgery to my right foot and Achilles tendon area.  For several months, my leg had become increasingly spastic and painful.  I was told that my Achilles tendon had begun to fray pretty much like an old rope and I was also shown that I had a huge bone growth.

Removing the bone growth would require extensive surgery and a serious recovery so instead I found a doctor who is known for a procedure he pioneered known as SPML (Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening).  In addition to lengthening my tendon, several holes were drilled into my bone growth in order to increase blood flow to the area.

procarephotoTruthfully, I was not prepared for the extent of my recovery.  I am now suffering from nerve damage and cannot feel part of my foot and leg.  Hopefully, the feeling will come back sooner than later. I am currently going for physical therapy and have pretty much had to learn how to walk again.  According to my physical therapist, a wonderful-caring man named Dean, my muscles are not working properly so I have to pay attention to every step I take so that my brain makes the connection.  I can hear his voice now, “Heel, step, back…heel, step, back.”  Has it been tough?  Yes, absolutely.  But one of the things that has truly helped me through this ordeal is the compassion I’ve been shown not only by my family and friends but also by complete strangers.

Complete strangers have let me lean on them as I walked through parking lots to my car or have offered to put my bags in the car for me at the supermarket.  Friends have left food and goodies at my door anonymously and have sent flowers and cards to brighten my day.

There was one older woman that I remember most of all.  For some reason, walking on the hard floors at my local Shoprite would cause me a lot of pain and with that pain came more limping than usual.  On this particular day, I could barely make it out of the store.  I only had a handful of items to buy so I didn’t bother getting a shopping cart.  This was a mistake as I didn’t have anything to lean on.

As I made my way slowly out of the store, a woman came up to me and asked if I was OK.  “You look like you’re in pain,” she told me.  To this, I replied that I had recently had surgery on my leg and would be fine.

“Oh,” she replied, I can see the pain on your face.”  Then she reached forward and took the two bags from arms.  At first I tried to refuse her help but she was insistent.  So finally, I smiled gratefully and led this beautiful soul to my truck.

When we reached my vehicle, she put my two bags in the back and reached forward to give me a much-needed hug.  I was all teary-eyed as I thanked her for her kindness.  “God bless you,” she told me.  “We all have crosses to bear but everything will be alright.”

I stood there as she walked away shocked by her words and her compassion. As I got in the truck, the tears flowed.  Unbeknownst to her, I had been feeling so sorry for myself and her words and encouragement gave me a much-needed boost.

Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t even ask for her name.  But what I do know is that her compassion will forever stay with me.  Her kindheartedness will forever remind me that despite the immoral things that may be happening in this world, the good will always outnumber the bad.  It is this good that we all need to focus on.  As the Bible states, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21 ESV)