As I sat down to have a bite at a hawker food stand, I realized I was sitting next to a Buddhist priest. He had been sitting so still that I had not noticed him. His calm demeanor stood out in contrast to the buzz at the Fortune Center. This was a man who appeared to be at peace. His saffron robe fit naturally, as if it had been worn for a lifetime. Nothing he did was rushed. Even the process of finishing his tea was a lesson in how to meditate.
We did not say anything to each other. It was as if words would have intruded in the quiet space between us. It was a wonderful way of beginning a meal. I felt like I had been invited into a quiet space and left alone. The invitation was the point. What happened next was up to me.
I could feel his presence long after he left. He silent testimony still lingers in my mind and on my heart. There was no separation between the spirit that was within him and the physical aspects of his life. It was a model that I would do well to remember. In a brief time of sitting near each other, he shared a way of living with me. I do not know his name, not that it matters. I doubt that I would recognize him if I passed him on the street. Yet his gift remains we me, a concept that cannot be forgotten now that is has been planted.
Paul reminder was made real. “The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” (1 Corinthians 6.20) I am refreshed because of being in the presence of a stranger having a meal.
I can imagine the possibilities of today. Everything changes when the pieces of life become an integrated whole. It is an opportunity to make a connection with Hope and with each other.