FROM THE BOARD
A Place of Judgement
Last week we went camping in the Cascades above Bend Oregon. The trip was planned so that we could safely spend a few days with our grandkids during the pandemic. We had a great time with each other and had an added bonus at the campground. It gave my judgmental ego quite the workout.
We pulled up into our camping site and started setting up, carefully glancing to the sites to our left and right. Who were the people next to us? They weren’t families. There were 3 young women in the campsite to our left and about 15 men in the two sites to our right. Our immediate thought was, “Oh no, these guys are partyers, noise makers. Crap, they’re going to destroy this beautiful setting with their obnoxious behavior.” Oh, ego’s free riding judgment! Then Cliff noticed that there were a couple of old guys – you know, the ones, our age – who were part of the group. And they had games set up in their huge camping area – ring tosses, bean bags, strategy games. Maybe they were a church group? Oh, yes, a church group would be quiet, probably to bed by 9 and up at 7. This was looking good!
A couple of the men wandered over towards our campsite and a feeling of dread sank all the way to my feet. The water spigot was on the edge of our site and they were coming over to fill their jug when it dawned on me. These guys are homeless, camping out together. They moved like homeless people, had that defeated look in their eyes. Then they saw me looking at them and smiled. “Hi, ma’am. How are you today? Need some help?” I didn’t know my insides could smile, feel warm, and cringe all at once. But all those parts were in me.
The next five days I found my mind and heart drifting all over the place. How did they end up where they are? What defeated them? Less than. Their problems make them less than. Judgement. Ego. Love. Holding the Light. Ho’oponopono. Helping myself be a better lightkeeper. Seeing their smiling faces, watching them gently listen and support each other. I am not better than they are. We are the same.
There were two vans, a truck, and a trailer parked in front of their campsites. The letters “Eugene Mission” Rescue + Revitalize + Restore painted on their sides.
In light, love and peace,