THE GREATEST GIFT
Aaron channel by Barbara Brodsky
Transcription and closed captioned:
November 21, 2016 Monday, Monthly Dharma Talk
(Not yet reviewed by Barbara and Aaron)
Aaron: My blessings and love to you all. I am Aaron. I’m here to share a story this evening, as you enter this holiday period. Let’s call it, “The Greatest Gift.” What is the greatest gift? Certainly not wealth. But what is it? I would say, Love. What is love? Let me tell you my story.
This holiday season I’m going to share a story of time with Jeshua. I loved this man, this friend, and whenever he was near I would try to take time off to go and see him. At this time I was traveling with my young son Mark, a 12 year old boy. Jeshua was further than I usually traveled, but I came to see him because I was heartbroken and I didn’t know what to do. My wife had just died in childbirth, leaving me with Mark, four other children and a newborn infant. Yes, I could be a father. I could find a way to take care of these children, but the love of my life had died. The light of my life was gone, and I did not think I could survive that loss.
Mark came with me. The children went to stay with a relative, including the infant, who I knew would be very well cared for,. Other shepherds were taking care of my flocks and our garden. So I felt free to leave.
We walked for many days, and it was a joy to be with this maturing son. We could even lose the reality of the dead wife, and for Mark, his dead mother, for a few minutes at a time, but both of us were grieving seriously.
One night we had not gotten as far as we hoped, to find a safe and comfortable place to shelter and sleep. It had grown dark. We walked on a bit further in the dark, pushing us, against my wisdom’s voice. I was walking ahead. There was a place where there had apparently been a landslide off the trail; I stepped blindly into it and fell about 15 feet down, into a ravine. I shouted for Mark to stop, even as I slid. I lay at the bottom, not fatally injured but with a badly broken leg. Mark carefully slid down to me. He wrapped me in blankets. He bound my leg. We sheltered there through the night as best we could.
In the morning, other travelers coming down the path stopped to help us. We were fortunate as they could instead have robbed us or even murdered us. Those were the ways of those times. You never knew where people would be loving or not loving. This is equally true of the world then and the world now. But I understood that when I expected people to be loving, I could help to draw the love out of them even if they were caught up in fear or anger. So these two men, dressed very poorly, what you might call highwaymen, stopped to help us. I wanted Mark to hide, lest they hurt him, but he said no, and he climbed up to the top of the slope to stop them and said, “My father has fallen. His leg has broken. I need to get him back up to this trail. Will you help us?”
One of them men bound my leg more securely than Mark had, using several sticks and binding it. And then, while it was very painful, it was manageable. They got me up to the trail and said, “Now what?” to Mark. He did not know, just said, “Thank you,” gave them some of the food we had by way of thanks, and they went on their way.
About two hours later one of these men came back with a mule pulling a small cart. “Where did you find this?” He said, “In the village. I told them there was a man with a broken leg.” I asked for help, and someone gave the help. I promised him that the mule and cart would be returned. It was a spindly mule, it was a shabby cart, but it worked. The man and Mark lifted me into the cart. I gave the man some money and asked him to give it to the one who had loaned us the mule and cart, and that we would bring it back. I was going to see Jeshua and then we would bring it back. So Mark was able to carry me in this way. In another several days’ walk we came to the place where Jeshua was staying with a number of his followers.
By this time I was in very bad pain, body and spirit, not only losing my wife but now afraid the leg would not heal. I had only planned to be away for a few days. What will happen? My children! My sheep! So I was in a state of fear when Jeshua came into sight. And he embraced me, “My brother.” We had much love for each other. You probably have heard some of my stories of our boyhood time together. He had men lift me gently off the cart, carry me into a dwelling place, a simple thatched roof dwelling, lay me on a soft pallet made of straw, but very comfortable, and cover me with blankets. Food was brought to us both.
That first night I was running a high fever and Jeshua sat with me through the night. I could feel the power of his energy enfolding me, embracing me. And good soup was fed to me. Other friends came and went also. Mark was taken care of, of course, fed and given a place to sleep beside me in that hut.
In the morning, I begged Jeshua, “You can heal this. I know you can heal it. Heal it for me so I can go back to my children and my sheep.” He put his hand on my shoulder. He said, “It will heal. Be patient. It will heal.” I noticed that first morning the pain was almost gone, and the fever was gone, and I thought, “Ah, by tomorrow I’ll get up and walk!”
“No, it will take about 6 weeks to heal.”
“But Jeshua, you can heal it like that!” (snapping fingers)
“6 weeks. It will heal.”
Now, I knew it wouldn’t take 6 weeks. Why was he doing this to me? I knew even I could manifest a faster healing, knowing what I did about resting in the ever-perfect and inviting wholeness.
We stayed there for about two days. I was very impatient. My family, my sheep! The borrowed mule and cart! He said, “Mark will return the mule and cart and walk on home. One of these brothers will go with him. We know he is just a boy. We will not send him alone. But when he gets home, he is a capable shepherd; he can take care of the sheep. He is growing into a man now, and your family is well-taken care of. He will tell them all what happened and that you will be home in 6 weeks.” There was nothing I could do. I could not walk on the leg. I could not force him to heal it, to perform a miracle. So I embraced Mark and he left.
The days went by, and my focus shifted from the broken leg to the broken heart. Every day Jeshua spent time with me. Another mule and comfortable cart were found, so that when the whole group moved to another place, I was comfortably brought with them. Every day Jeshua asked me to talk to him about my wife, what I loved about her. To see that she still existed in my heart. I could not lose her. And so, as the leg healed, the heart healed.
I know Jeshua could have miraculously healed that leg, supported the healing of it. And I would have gone back, back filled with anger and grief. The heart needed time to heal, and Jeshua understood that I would run back and push myself into the effort to take over and do what needed to be done. So in a sense he forced me to stay there.
The greatest gift was his love, and the love of all of those around me. So many people came and sat by me. They talked to me— not only Jeshua, but others, drawing my love for my wife out to the surface. I had hidden it because it was too painful. Their love allowed me to remember that I carried her here in the heart and could not lose her; helping me to find joy and faith again.
Jeshua is and was such a strong reflection of the divine, that being in his presence, it’s impossible to forget the power of love and the healing power of love. I had forgotten, in my grief. But as it came back, finally there came the day when I knew, “When I am ready to go back, I will not go back with anger and fear.” Sadness, yes. Sadness and grief are different. Sadness and joy balance each other. The ability to know sadness, to open one’s heart to loss, is very powerful. When the heart is open that way, it can receive joy. But I knew that i was not caught in grief grounded in anger. “Why did this happen? They should have been able to save her. Not fair!” No, just gratitude for the years I had spent with her. Love in my heart for her. And knowing that I could love again. Maybe not taking a new wife, but I could love my children, I could love my friends and neighbors. And I could love in a new relationship, if that showed up. The heart was open. The greatest gift waslove, and receiving that love.
It was very interesting. As this shift happened, one morning I said to Jeshua, “My heart is so open. I really think the grief and anger are gone.” And he smiled and said, “Yes, I think so too.” We sat there, me on a bench with my leg elevated, the splint still tied around it. But I did not put weight on it. Jeshua looked at me and said, “Yes, I think you’re ready,” and he unbound the splint from my leg. He said, “Now stand up and walk.”
“I haven’t walked for 6 weeks, will it hold me?”
“Shhh, no fear. Come back to the loving heart. Know that it is healed. Know that it will hold you.”
And so I stood up, and I walked. Of course the body was weak from a period of not walking. I did not set off to return home immediately. My first impulse was, “Now that I can walk I must go home!” Jeshua said, “No, you need time for the body to fully strengthen.” So another week, 10 days, passed strengthening the body. And then finally it was time to say goodbye, carrying with me this greatest gift, the gift of love.
This is what I wish you for this holiday season. May love light your hearts so much that it brims over and is shared with the whole world. May you find the joy of loving and being loved. I love you very much.