Unconditional Acceptance

Greetings,

I was so moved by the story shared with me (by my super hero) Dr. Gerald Kieshnick, that I am sharing it with you.  He shared with me the following story that was shared with him.  This is a story of learned grace:

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called “Smile.”

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son and I went out to McDonald’s one crisp March morning.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch, but an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible ‘dirty body’ smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman close to me, he was smiling. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was of critical importance to him. I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, “Coffee is all, Miss.” That was obviously all they could afford. He knew that if they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm.

Then I really felt it. The compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That’s when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman’s cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you.” I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “I didn’t do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.”

As I walked away to join my husband and son, I began to cry. When I sat down, my husband smiled at me and said, “That’s why God gave you to me, Honey—to give me hope.”

We held hands for a moment. And at that time we knew that only because of the grace we had been given were we able to give. That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love.

On the last evening of class, I returned with this story in hand. I turned in my “project” and the instructor read it. Then she looked up at me and said, “May I share this?” I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class and began to read my story.

And that is when I knew that we as human beings and children of God share this need to help heal people and to be healed in the process. In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald’s, my son, the instructor, and every person who shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn—unconditional acceptance. That day I learned the importance of loving people and using things, not loving things and using people.

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