Its amazing to me where, who, what and how God sends people and situations into our lives to teach us something important as we grow … and what a way God sent me a lesson of unconditional love.
A little over a year ago, my mom and I were driving around Dallas, and we saw a homeless man on the street. He was a thin man who walked with a limp and used a tree branch as a cane. The man was very thin, straggly hair and a long unkept beard. As we waited at the lights, we may have quickly collected a few odd dollars we could gather up before the lights turned green or perhaps we bought him some food – I don’t quite remember, but days and weeks after that, we continued to happen to cross paths with him and got to know him better. We became fast friends with Gordon and each time we met, we learned and shared a little more with each other.One may say our encounters on any given day at any given time was “random” or perhaps “not surprising” because he hung out in the same area of Dallas, but I know, each time we met, it was very purposefully and intentionally aligned by God. Often, when we did meet after a few weeks of not seeing each other, I saw Gordon’s eyes fill up with tears and I sensed his gratitude for our paths crossing over and over again. Perhaps it was a “right place at a right time moment” for him. I would see him look up at the sky, as if in that moment, he was feeling God’s mercy around him. I did all that I could in those moments to try and bring some light and hope in his day whether it was just by offering a listening ear, share some kind words, buy him food or share some change that I had.
On a few occasions, he had mentioned that the employees at the restaurants had been rude to him when he had tried to go order food and dine inside McDonalds or Jack in the Box. I remember talking to the employees and manager one time about judging others and how kindness and compassion should be something we share without judgment. They said the customers complained or something like that … but I insisted he respect him given that like anyone else, we had purchased a meal and he should receive the same respect as any other customer there.
I can’t say I have never judged or spoken negatively about anyone. I am not here to say I have a clean track record of extending loving kindness with all people at all times in my life. That would be a lie and really, it would separate me from my human side. However, I spend everyday trying harder and harder to become more compassionate and become less of a person who judges people and situations. What I do know, is meeting Gordon was an experience where I was allowing myself to feel oneness with someone who had continuously experienced snarls and comments of disapproval from so many. It made me more conscious and aware about how our society is plagued on the thought of us vs the other. We are obsessed with labeling so that we differentiate and condone what is unfamiliar to us – what we cannot relate to.
The book conversations with God speaks about turning concepts into experience. We know kindness and compassion as concepts, but can truly only experience it when we put those words in actions – when we extend kind and compassionate ACTIONS to people. We can talk about forgiveness, but only truly experience it when our actions prove that we have forgiven. Talking about it is one thing – acting it out is a whole other story.
Gordon and I spoke at lengths about God. I always parted ways with him saying “Jesus loves you and so do I”. We had discussed that I was raised Muslim and he was raised Christian, but we celebrated our spiritual connection and belief in God. Regardless of what we call him, Jesus, Allah, Spirit, Buddha, the Universe – regardless, we knew a higher power was in control of our “random” divinely aligned meetings.
Some time passed and I had not seen Gordon on the streets. I wondered what may have happened to him. Was he in jail, was he alive, did he die? I had no idea what to think!
About a month ago, my mom and I were visiting the salvation army to explore volunteer opportunities. I parked my car and noticed a man with a short mustache and short hair walk up to me. I heard him say something but only picked up the word “Gordon” in his sentence. I thought to myself, “oh he has the same name as my friend”. He looked at me and repeated “Farahana, its Gordon!” I burst into tears and ran towards him and have him a big hug! I couldn’t contain my emotions. God had done it again. Right place at the right time, perfectly and divinely aligned.
He shared his story with me and told me about the challenges he had gone through in the months I spent wondering if he was dead or alive – but that’s his story to share and it wouldn’t be fair for me to share here. I know that his story will be shared one day in a beautiful magical way. For now, I am so grateful he is back in my life, and I feel so honored and blessed to be able to write about him and to be able to call him my friend!
Gordon coming into my life showed me my pure loving side. He allowed me to truly extend and experience unconditional love without judgment. He has a way of making me feel like the angel in his life – but truly, he has no idea what he has done for me. He has never judged me for being raised Muslim. He does not label me and see me as how the media views other Muslims. He sees in me what I see in him. Pure goodness and Godliness. It takes one to recognize another – Gordon. Thank you for being an angel in my life.
I believe that the Christ in me saw the Christ in him. We all have Godliness in us. The question is, do we allow ourselves to see it in ourselves as well as others. Are our actions Christlike? Are our thoughts Christlike? Is our love Christlike. Do we have the ability to forgive unconditionally, honestly and truly. I declare today; everyday I will strive to be a little better than I was yesterday.
Love you to the moon and back forever my friend!