A Christmas Gift of Love
Depressed and broken hearted, a man named Bob May stared out of his drafty apartment window in to the chilling December night. His four year-old daughter, Barbara, sat on his lap quietly sobbing.
Bob's wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara could not understand why her mother could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't mummy just like everybody else's mummy?"
Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves not only of grief, but also of anger.
It had been the story of Bob's life, which always had to be different for him.
As a child, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was frequently called names he would rather not remember.
From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. However, Bob completed college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get a job as a copy-writer at Montgomery Ward during the great depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl.
But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's battle with cancer stripped them of all their savings. Now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn passed on just days before Christmas in 1938.
Bob stuggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he could not purchase a present, he was determined to make one - a storybook.
Bob had created a character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again, Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling.
Who was the character? What was the story all about? The tale Bob created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.
Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day - but the story doesn't end there.
The general manage of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and distributed it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores.
By 1946, Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of "Rudolph". That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.
In an unpresented gesture of Kindness, the chief executive officer of Wards returned all the rights to Bob. The book became a best seller!
Many toy and marketing deals followed. Bob, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.
But the story doesn't end their either.....................
Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to "Rudolph". Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by Gene Autry, the singing cowboy.
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of White Christmas.
The gift of love that Bob created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning to bless him again and again.
And Bob learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different can be a blessing.
This year has been so difficult for all of us, with the many restrictions in place. We miss each other’s company and closeness, having a huge hug from a loved one or a friend, being around each other is important to us. As we approach Christmas, this year will be harder for all of us, many of us won’t be able to get together as we have done many times before. I say many times, as I look back at Christmas years gone by I realized how luck I have been, I have shared the most wonderful times when my children were growing up, being able to buy what they wanted and having the most delicious foods and drink. When you look back I bet you also have had some wonderful times too.
I chose the story of how Rudolph came about because, it shows through hard times and perseverance that Spirit comes to us in many ways, was the father inspired to write that story out of love for his child, yes but where did the inspiration come from? His life changed completely when he wrote that story. He was inspired through love and caring, Spirit works the same way, when we are truly thinking of others things around us change for the better. When the thought is done out of greed or control or any negative energy that is put into it will have a different out come.
If our ancestors can over come WW I and WWII and going further back when people lived in slums with no food, the depression in the 1930’s, the potato famine that occurred in Ireland, and on it goes further back to civil wars and battles, it was the people that suffered many many times throughout history.
This Christmas lets remind ourselves that we are all different warts and all, we have our faults and flaws but we our unique and we are stronger than what we think we are. We have endured so much past and present and yet her we are still going strong, working together so we can be together once again. Remember we are the lucky ones, we have had wonderful Christmas times, but others have not. We have friends we can connect with online, other’s do not, we are still here fighting when other’s are not, let us remind ourselves that this COVID will pass its not permanent, we will be together again in our Church, we will be together hugging each other and we ARE together joined in Spirit and no computer can take the place of the true love we have for each and everyone of us.
In the words of Charles Dickens……God bless us each and everyone.
Merry Christmas and let the love of Spirit hug and hold you and bless you know and always.
Rev Janine Grey
Infinite Spirit, Creator of All Life, thank you for this day. Thank you for your continued strength, support and love as we all struggle to cope with the effects of COVID-19 on so many aspects of our lives. We understand that there are many lessons to be learned from this period of time, but we all have moments of frustration and exhaustion with it all. We thank the many souls in the spirit world who are doing their best to uplift us and bring us healing and hope when it all seems too much. We also send out healing to the many "angels" on earth who work to keep us well and safe and often endanger their own lives to look after the many sick and frightened patients and their families.
We are truly blessed to know that your love and support are with us always.
Many of you have fears about the future - not just for yourselves, but for the world. What will it be like after Covid 19 goes away? Will things ever be the same? Will I and my loved ones be okay?
It is easy to become caught up in the "What ifs" in life. You can't change what has happened, and you can't know what the future will bring. What you can control is how you respond to what is happening right now - and in five minutes, what is happening then. Do the best you can with now and then let it go. Look at your responses - and if they are fearful or angry - learn from them. Why did you react that way? If they are positive and hopeful, be grateful for whatever is giving you that strength and trust. Each of you will react to experiences your own way. Honour that and don't judge how someone else is reacting. You don't know what all has happened to them previously that has caused their response. The best you can be at this time is an example of love and compassion to yourself and others. You will all be exhausted, frustrated, and perhaps angry at times - sometimes you will acknowledge these feelings. Honour them but do not pass them on. Your spirit friends know when you have these feelings and will do their best to help you regain balance again - especially if you ask for help. That opens your consciousness to accept the insights and help they bring - sometimes helping you to see the humour in some of the situations.
Look for positive things and funny things to help balance the negative things.
Difficult times are hard to handle, but when you remember that you are loved and supported by spirit - that you are not alone in this - it will help you to handle everything, one moment and one day at a time until one day life will be good and joyful again. You will be free to go out and about, to hug your friends, and sing and dance with others.
Be patient and know that you are loved.
Rev. Patricia Gunn and her spirit friends
Infinite Spirit, Creator of all life, we give thanks this day to all the men and women who, over the years have sacrificed their lives on earth to help the world become a place of peace. Our prayer is that someday that will happen. We pray for those who, to this day, still try to find ways to make the world safe and peaceful. Whether war and fighting is right or wrong, they are trying to help where there is a need. So thank you to those in spirit who try to inspire the leaders with ideas of how to create a world of co-operation and harmony where there is disharmony and a clash in cultures and in some cases, dishonest leaders. This Remembrance Day, we honour and remember those who tried and are still trying.
This is a time of year where those who have served in the military are remembered for the sacrifices they have made. Some were killed, and some permanently injured - physically and /or mentally. Families lost parents and children. They didn't have to join up but followed the call to serve. Most of them didn't know the horrible conditions they would experience and the reality of having to kill someone they didn't know who was just like them -- but on the "other side"-- with families and friends back home. Each "side" was thinking they were protecting their own. One side eventually wins, but devastation is left behind. Souls go to spirit too young, and nothing is really solved. There is freedom of a sort, but so far, no one has found a way to truly find real peace -- the kind that means all people of the world treat everyone with respect and get that back -- where there is real trust in others who are different in looks, race, culture and ideas. Not all people realize we are all children of God, Our Creator, and are equally loved by God. God does not take sides but encourages all to find ways to respect differences and to realize they are not superior to anyone. They may be more talented in a particular way, but it is what you do with your talent to make the world a better place that is important. The lessons of this are often given not just by spiritual teachers, but through writers, song-writers and artists of all kinds that can touch the souls and minds of people in a positive and uplifting way, reminding us of the family of mankind. Many of the younger generation are more open to listening to and appreciating people - no matter what race, culture, skin colour or sexual orientation they are, and basing their opinions on how they treat each other. Not every young person is like that, as some are conditioned by their family and other people to be close-minded, but the numbers of them that are appreciating people for who they are and how they treat each other rather than their class, culture or skin colour are growing.
Spirit is working closely with many of them to create a world of acceptance, compassion and appreciation for the differences amongst them. True peace will only come when that is a reality. There is a lot of work to be done, and there are many teachers, leaders and creative adults who are doing their best to live in that way and teach by example. Remember that one of the reasons we incarnate in the school of life on earth is to see if we have truly learned what real unconditional love is.
Be thankful for those who have gone before and fought to do their best so we can live in a country where we can live the principles of love, self-respect and compassion for all.
Rev. Patricia Gunn and her spirit workers
Well, it’s a true ghost story for Halloween, and this happened just recently......
Pete and I had two days free together recently, and for a much needed break away we wanted to stay somewhere completely different. We chose to stay at the Heriot Bay Inn on Quadra Island. We had never been there before so it was a nice 10 minute ferry ride over to the island, and it was a pleasant day. We arrived for check-in, and immediately looked at the beautiful old building which we knew nothing about, but we had liked the look of the place when we were looking for hotels.
We were greeted by two lovely cats, sister and brother, who, we were told, prefer to stay outside no matter what the weather. We were greeted by smiling, friendly people, and told our room was #14. So up the stairs we went. As I walked past room #8 I could feel a strange presence which continued up the hallway as we made our way to the room. The room was small and basic and had been kept pretty much original in decor, but it was nice and clean, and the bed looked comfy and inviting. It was a bit stuffy so Pete opened the window in the bathroom. We unpacked and went for a walk before dinner.
We sat outside with the cats and ate a lovely dinner. As I looked up to our room I noticed the bathroom window was closed, so I asked Pete if he had closed it and he said he hadn’t. So I went up and opened the window again and came back downstairs to enjoy my glass of wine, and a cat on my lap....the best destresser ever, I might add.
A bit later we decided to go up to our room and get settled for the night. I went into the bathroom and noticed the window was shut again. So I went downstairs to ask if anyone had been in our room for any reason but there was no one there. I noticed everyone had gone to bed, so I went back to our room and shrugged it off. I had found a fan and put it on so it was so nice and pleasant in the room as we settled in bed, and off we went to sleep.
I awoke in the early hours to find the bathroom window closed and my fan turned off. I nudged Pete and asked if he had closed the window and turned the fan off, but knowing he wouldn’t do that I just asked him anyway. No he hadn’t he said. I spoke out loud as I sensed a woman in the room and so I asked her not to turn the fan off, and not to close the window as I liked the fresh air. Pete and I awoke around 3am as a man screamed out loud “Oh God what’s that....Oh God help meeeee!” Then the couple in the next room went very quiet. Finally everything settled down and we went to sleep.
The next morning Pete and I asked if the couple in the room next to us were OK. The manager said “Oh they left at the crack of dawn in a hurry”. I smiled to myself and thought, “right, I’m going to tune into you and find out what you’re all about.” I went into the hallway and felt each room door and tuned in. I found that there were two women - one had died in her thirties, and the other woman was showing herself as being older. The older lady is the one who would close the window and turn the fan off as she thought she was keeping me warm and didn’t want me to become ill. Even though it was a warm night, to her it was winter time I felt, as she always had a shawl on when I saw her. The hotel is made up of two buildings, an old part and a newer part but put together. I felt the pub part of the hotel was the most important part to be drawn to, as it had a lot of residual energy, so an imprint from the past had an effect on the pub part. But in the restaurant a man sat by the fireplace and just watched everyone come and go. The man and the younger woman who passed in her thirties live there as though they are still alive today, and take care of the place and treat it like a place to stay. The older woman, who I believe was the man’s second wife, basically goes about her day caring for those who stay and making sure they are all warm and tucked in for the night. Some rooms had more energy in them than most, but it was a busy building in its day. I had a feeling it was built around 1890 but there was another building there before it which was around the 1700’s. The spirits that reside there are happy doing what they are doing and will move on and over into spirit world when they are ready. The man who screamed in the night saw the older woman by the window. She told me this, and that she had frightened the life out of him. She didn’t mean to scare him or for him to see her.
I told the owner about my findings and she said “actually that’s all correct, and you have even told me more than I already knew”.............
October 30 marked four years since I became an ordained minister, and wow, I have learned so much in that time. I look at things so differently now, and I feel situations affect me in a different way than they did four years ago. Spiritualism is an ongoing learning and re-learning of many different things. I feel we all continue to grow and expand our knowledge every day, and we continually come across so many different situations drawing on the knowledge that we have retained. But in some situations we may react so differently this time around that if it is correct, and we have learned the lesson, then it won’t come around again. It’s when we have not learned from our mistakes that the lesson will come back around again. So we have to stop and think it out carefully: what or how can I change the outcome of what I am dealing with? What is my lesson here? But we have to be totally honest with ourselves as most of the time it is we who need to learn. The only way forward is to be honest, and if that means taking full responsibility then we must learn to do just that. It can be a hard lesson to learn but wow, it’s usually a powerful one!
Sometimes we are part of someone else’s lesson and this is what we have to identify with too. You would have agreed to be a part of this learning experience in order to help them through it, and this would all have been agreed upon before you came to the Earth. We help each other with growth through these lessons that come to us. This helps us in turn to grow spiritually, and that is the ultimate goal of our existence here on the Earth.
Plenty of powerful signposts are there in front of us to help us along but we really need to open our eyes and our spirit to actually see the posts. They are there if you look for them. There are many workers and helpers who are with us constantly but it is we who need to grow, enlightening our minds which in turn will reflect within our body and general health. We are all connected and interwoven within each other spiritually, but our minds and our bodies are our responsibility to keep healthy and active.
As we move through the seasons into fall, we are drawn to the colours of nature and the new smells of the season. Enjoy the fresh air and the liveliness of all the creatures around you. Enjoy this life which has been given to you freely. Enjoy your lessons and learn from them. Enjoy growing spiritually every day, and most of all enjoy and love one another as your father and mother love you. We are blessed and are aware of spirit. That in itself is a gift from God, the gift of life in this world and the next. Feel blessed and loved, and continue to enjoy the gift of learning and growing spiritually every single day. Enjoy each other, and most of all enjoy being you.
Rev. Janine Grey
My wife, daughter and I moved into our home nine years ago and we spent a lot of time and energy in the yard to get it looking like it does today. We live on a corner, higher than street level, and the entire side of the yard is encased by professionally built rock wall. The front of the house is another story because instead of a wall along the sidewalk the rocks appear to be thrown up onto the dirt as if someone were in a hurry to finish it. We did the best we could with what we had to work with and called this area our rock garden. When we have leftover work flowers or plants, Denise or I would stick them out in front, just to bring some colour to the area. I still do my own yard work, even to this day I still do the dreaded weed pulling. After putting on my knee pads I assume the position to clear the yard of weeds, even the rock garden.
Last summer I had reached the end of the rock garden and found a tiny little plant that I could not immediately identify. I knew I did not plant it and Denise claimed that she did not either. We decided to let it continue growing until we could figure out what it was.
Weeks passed and as I made my way back to mystery plant, it appeared to be a sunflower. It was spindly looking with a tall skinny stalk and only one head on it. I decided to baby it along and weed around it. As I pulled the rocks from the area to get to the weeds, I noticed something unusual. The sunflower had not started where I saw the stalk begin. It actually had begun under a big rock and grown under and around it to reach the sun.
That's when I realized that if a tiny little sunflower did not let a big rock stand in its way of developing, we too have the capability of doing the same thing. Once our environment begins to see that we believe in ourselves like that little sunflower, we can attain the same nourishment and nurturing as well. First we need to believe in ourselves knowing we have capability to overcome the obstacle because it trusted in the universal truth and had faith it would succeed.
Stand tall like the sunflower and be proud of whom and what you are and the environment will be begin to support you. You will find a way to go under or around your big obstacle in order to reach your desires.
I chose the story of the sunflower as it reminded me of Pete and me this summer. In between work we decided to work on our gardens both front and back. Why not, with COVID about, I bet everyone’s gardens are looking pretty good this year lol. Anyway the front was not too bad, but the back was a mess. It was a mix of gravel, baldy grass and huge rocks. We just didn't know where to start. So we asked lovely Linzy to help us out and give us an idea of where to start. Linzy came and tidied up and removing a lot of garden mess and put our plants in their new beds - the plants that Pete and I had chosen earlier on in the year. Linzy had placed some mulch down too and by then she had to go back to her usual job. Pete and I carried on with the back garden as the yard had become a blank canvas for us to work from. Oh and just so you know - Wow does Linzy work hard.
Pete and I then set about thinking about all the things that we both like. We love driftwood and so do our cats. It’s a great natural cat scratch by the way. We hauled driftwood from Campbell River, as Port Renfrew was all closed up. We began to transform our backyard into a beautiful relaxing place to be. Buddhas and flower pots, herbs and the sound of running water made it all pretty much complete, but it still needed a bit more work. In amongst all of this we had noticed a little blue flower that had already been in the yard but had never grown and always looked weak and frail. So we decided that as the rest of the garden was beginning to come life so we would try and bring it back to life. I placed rocks around it to protect it from the weather. We placed soil and minerals around it and a rose quartz beside it. I started to keep an eye on it but felt sure with all the changes that had gone on in the garden that it would be all too much for the little flower.
The little tiny flower began to wilt and looked even more depressed than before and we feared the worst but we carried on with the changes to garden regardless. Then finally we had finished the garden and in between work and grocery shopping we had forgotten about the tiny blue flower. Then one day I thought Oh let me check on flower, as it had been so long. Not only had this flower survived all the changes it had flourished and spread out and seemed to love the rocks that nestled beside it. It was as if the changes in the garden and brought new life and had affected the tiny blue flower. I just looked and smiled. It had overcome being left and neglected and it had overcome harsh weather and no one to take interest in it. But now it had come back to life this tiny blue flower after two years or more. Now it was showing its true beautiful self in all its glory. This is a message from nature, we can overcome all obstacles and survive but we need help from each other so we can flourish and bloom and never give up. We are one and we are strong and we are blessed
Infinite Spirit, Creator of all Life, We give thanks this day for our lives - for the experience of life on earth so that our souls have the opportunity to grow and learn more about life and love. While it is challenging, there have been and will continue to be, many opportunities to be of service. Some have accepted them and some not. We are thankful for the knowledge that life is all about constant change in the circle of life. We know that we are never alone in this journey and that every soul is supported, even when they don't feel it or know it. Not one soul is ever abandoned by God and the spirit world. Help us to be of service - to spread light and positive, loving energy all around our world - to create peace, love and hope wherever we go.
Each one of you has come to earth to be of service in some way - to both teach and learn - to share an ability, a gift of some kind and to receive and in so doing, allow someone else to share their gifts., How this happens will depend on where you are in your life cycle. Children need caregivers - parents and family members giving them unconditional love as babies. Later, the circle of life can be seen in many ways: birth - growth and learning - sharing your gifts - allowing others to help you - passing on knowledge and then returning to the spirit world to understand what your life was really about and then continuing growth there.
The more you learn about Love in its purest form, the less you will fear the constant change and challenges that life brings you. To understand Love is to understand that God, our Creator, is the one true constant in all life - Love in its purest form – unconditional, all-knowing, all-powerful, and the source of all creativity. Each of you is an expression of God -- unique and special -- adding to the whole of life. Each of you is on earth for a reason, to add in some way to the whole of creation. You don't have to know exactly how - just trust that the many paths in your life will be presented to you at the right time.
The more you trust that inner voice, the more at ease you will be with unexpected, sometimes uncomfortable changes that are presented to you. When you don't fight change, when you learn to stop, listen, breathe and trust, the easier you will find life. All of you will have times of laughter and joy as well as pain, loss and hurt. The contrast of these experiences and how you handle them is an important part of your soul growth, and you need all those experiences to grow.
Remember that the power and love of God, our Creator, is infinite. You are full of infinite possibilities. Don't limit yourself by doubt or fear of not being good enough. You are part of the Whole which is God, and you are being loved through all of your experiences. Make plans but don't hold on to them too tightly. Life changes happen suddenly, so learn to be flexible - to adjust to the moment, without fear, but full of trust and knowing that you will get through whatever us happening. Live each day to the best of your ability that day. Some days you are clearer and stronger than others, but as long as you try, that is all that is asked of you. When you are tired and feel at the end of your rope, ask God and your spirit friends for strength and help. They will be there for you - in fact will have been waiting for your invitation to help. Surrender your doubts and fears to them and let God's love fill every part of you, and you will find the strength and insight you need to carry on.
Rev. Patricia Gunn and her spirit friends
God, this year has been hard for many of us. While this is a day to be thankful for a moment, it's also hard as we cannot all be together. The challenges we have faced this year have been overwhelming, and as we pray today for those who cannot be with us and those we have lost, we cannot ignore the fact that these feelings still linger as does the pain. But for these next few hours, let us remember that you are a God who loves us, cares for us, heals us, and forgives us. Help us to enjoy this time. In the lingering of this virus, give us peace. We thank you for this day and pray a blessing for our strength. Amen.
There was once a man who was clean shaven, well dressed, and always happy - a good looking guy who loved life and made others around him laugh. He brought joy into peoples’ lives, and everyone loved him. He had travelled to other countries and had explored many other cultures. He was a very intelligent man.
He began martial arts when he was in his early teens as he had been bullied in his younger years at school. He became a black belt 3 Dan which is very high within the martial arts categories. In fact he became a master of three different types of martial arts. (No one bullied him then.) He studied to become a fitness instructor and in his twenties he achieved this. His next goal was to concentrate on his art work as he was an excellent artist, and so he studied to become a graphic designer. This along with everything else he had done took time and effort and dedication on his part.
Over time he became a teacher of art in the local college and worked hard with his students but always brought fun and laughter into it and the kids loved him, in fact everyone loved him. He then started to become more interested in going to the gym and really eating healthy and studying diets. He looked well and the healthy lifestyle suited him. He then took another step further and became interested in natural body building; this meant no steroids just a natural physique. He exceled at this and studied various diets specifically for body building. He worked hard every day in the gym and eventually started to enter competitions. He came fourth for his first attempt. This was excellent as there were over 50 contestants that day. He worked harder and ate healthier but also had to put his body through punishing days of not eating - just having water, then before a competition he would have to not drink glasses of water but only sips so his body would show the muscle as being more defined through dehydration.
He entered another competition and placed 3rd then 2nd and guess what? Through all his perseverance he became Mr. Great Britain and won first place! Wow - that was hard work but he loved every moment of it, and those who knew him were so proud of him. Mr. Great Britain and natural body building too! He proved that you don’t need steroids and drugs to achieve this; you can do it all naturally. Everyone was proud but no one more than his family. His dad was so proud and told everyone about his son and showed pictures of him. The man was on the covers of magazines and he travelled to different venues and all the while his family and friends followed him to support this wonderful guy.
He met his wife to be, and she supported him every step of the way. She was so beautiful and as a couple they stood out together - people would stop and look at them both. Eventually they had a child - a son - and the man was so proud.
He wanted to give them everything so started working at night too as a security guard outside clubs, just to keep the peace when people got drunk or rowdy, but most knew him and so would leave peacefully.
Then one night he was working outside a club and a guy and his friend started making trouble and so the man stepped in and asked the two men to settle down. They carried on making trouble and so the man had to ask the two men to leave the club, after some arguing and swearing the two men left the club.
Later on as the club closed the man was making his way home when a gang of six men jumped him, two of the gang members were the two who had been asked to leave the club. The gang kicked the man’s head so badly that you could see the man’s skull and he suffered multiple wounds. The gang fled and left the man for dead. A passerby saw the man and called an ambulance. The man died twice on the way to hospital. He was brought back twice then sent immediately to be operated on.
The man’s brain was very badly damaged and so the doctor had to take some of the man’s brain away. The operation was a success and the man was taken to ICU. His healing was a long slow process while he was kept sedated. When he showed signs of recovery they stopped sedating him and brought him around. This is when the doctor told his family that the man would never be the same as he was before due to the massive head injury and brain damage he had sustained during the fight.
When the man came to he didn’t know what had happened and had no recollection of the fight at all. It became clear to all that this man was never going to be the same. He remained in hospital for some time and had to be taught how to eat and look after himself. Even his speech was not good and he was taught how to speak more clearly. Eventually when he went home his wife couldn’t cope seeing him this way, and so she left him and took his son. The man couldn’t go back to teaching as he now had short-term memory loss. He couldn’t go back to his body building as he was told he could not lift weights anymore as this would be too much pressure on his brain. He could not go back to his beloved martial arts in case he took a heavy blow to his head, and the same with his night job as a security guard. And he could not go back to being a fitness instructor as his memory was poor.
The man became depressed as he had nothing else in his life; nothing made sense anymore. Even his family could not cope with his depressed state and his brain injury. His friends started to leave him one by one as he was not the popular guy anymore with all the laughs. He stopped bathing and became more and more depressed. He started drinking to drown his sorrows and the thoughts of his wife and son. Eventually he lost his home as he did not know how to take care of things. His family tried to help, but it all became too much for them. He disappeared and no one saw him for the longest time.
Then one day a relative saw him on YouTube under the title “Chris the Homeless Man”. He had ended up on the streets of Liverpool and is homeless. This is a true story, and I know this. Chris is my brother, and I miss him dearly…….
As fall approaches and we feel the cold coming in, this is when I think most about my big brother who I adore to this day. I love him with all my heart and have no idea where he is in such a big city. When I’m driving to work I see so many homeless people walking along with their carts carrying all they have in the world with them place to place. It’s so sad to see especially in this day and age.
I don’t judge homeless people as I don’t know what has happened in their life. Were they abused so left home? Do they drink because they were abused? They didn’t start off like that so what caused it? We have no idea. I guess when people see my brother on the streets with his carrier bag, they must judge him too, but as you read before my brother did not start out homeless or an alcoholic but circumstances changed his life.
I once saw a guy sitting outside the Dollar store with a sign. Everyone was walking by him. I read his sign. It said “Please can you buy me some Advil as I am in pain with my tooth.” Now I guess people just automatically thought he was asking for money so ignored him. I then went into the store and bought him Advil and some cloves plus a bottle of water. I came out and gave him the bag. He smiled at me and started to cry with gratitude, and my heart went out to him. I went to the bank and withdrew some money and gave him the cash. I said “This is for you. Use it for whatever you need and what helps you through your day.” I then told him about Warmlands that has a dentist who helps the homeless. He smiled at me, and I went about my business. A few weeks later I was at a gas station and I heard “Hi”. I turned around and recognized the same man I had helped. He was smiling and said “I went to Warmlands and they helped me, and now I am not in pain anymore, and I wanted to thank you for your kindness.” I smiled and said “Your smiling face is enough of a thank you.” Off he went, and I felt very humbled in that moment.
Now I know some people will think well he most probably went and bought alcohol with the money you gave him or drugs so you’re not helping him. But how do I know that, and I don’t know what has happened in his life, maybe he needs something to get him through the day. Remember some of us are stronger than others. It’s not my business to judge him. Maybe he went and bought something to eat or a blanket – it’s not my business. But I sure hope that if that were me, someone would help me out without judging me. We don’t know what they will do, but really when you give -- whether it’s money or food or clothes -- it’s their responsibility what they do with it. Your act of caring is given with genuine love and feeling so it doesn’t concern you anymore.
I have often wondered why the injury happened to my brother that caused such a huge change in his life. I guess it’s not my lesson to learn, but it has taught me one lesson, and that is to never judge those around me no matter what. I don’t know what they have been through and are still going through. One of those people pushing a cart through the dark lonely streets at night could be a war hero and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to what they experienced and so lost everything or was life too hard for them and they couldn’t cope with day-to-day things. Either way please remember that these people are a part of us, and God is within all of us. Let’s show kindness to those around us who struggle, and let’s be there for each other. Life is way too hard to go through it alone. Let’s be thankful this weekend as we think about friends and family on this Thanksgiving Day, for all we have and the life we have. Let’s be thankful for having each other, Spiritual love, and a true faith that we are all loved no matter who or what we are. Let’s not judge others. God does not judge us, we judge ourselves.
Thank you, Rev. Janine Grey
Infinite Spirit, Creator of all Life, thank you for this day and for all the support that has been given to our church for the last 29 years by You and all the many souls in the spirit world. You have been there guiding and giving strength and inspiration through all the good times and the challenging times. Many of our founding members are in spirit and still they encourage us. New people come and go, bringing new ideas and support. We are so lucky to have this centre to spread light and hope to all who need it. We send love and healing to all who are ill or suffering in any way, especially during this time of uncertainly, that affects so many aspects of our lives, and yet, we know that we are never alone in this journey. We are so thankful that we know that life is eternal and that love is always there to support us through all our challenges. AMEN
Twenty -nine years ago, on October 6, 1991, two souls were guided to move to Duncan, with no idea that they would start a church that is still providing healing, hope, inspiration and knowledge to the many people who come through the doors. The location has changed but the essence of compassion, healing and inspiration is still going strong. The services can't take place there at the moment, but the people in charge are still doing their best to be of service. One day the doors will open again, perhaps in a slightly different format for awhile, but that is what life is all about. The church has always been a work in progress and that is a reflection of all life. In understanding that God and spirit are always with you, you will find strength in knowing that all will be well wherever you are, even as your own lives change and evolve.
These are difficult times for everyone on earth, especially for those who fear change or need to feel they are in control of every aspect of their life. The beauty of the philosophy of spiritualism is that when you really accept it, you realize that you can trust the future will be fine, even if it is not what you expected. When you really trust God, your Creator, you learn to be still, and listen within and blend with that God energy, letting it fill every aspect of your being, breathing it into your conscious and unconscious mind and spirit-sitting with it and becoming one with God and all life - here and in spirit. This allows you to release fear and become open and free to receive whatever healing and inspiration you need. It is not always something deep and inspirational - maybe a thought to go outside and notice nature or listen to music or get active or phone a friend. But by making a habit of connecting to God and spirit on a regular basis, your whole outlook changes into the thought that life is full of wonderful possibilities, even if some of them seem daunting.
It was the thought of the possibility of a church that got this one started - the thought, the prayers, then connecting with people of like mind, finding a place to rent and then taking a deep breath, placing an ad in the paper and trusting that someone would come. Around forty people came to check us out and many continued to come back, often bringing friends. Some come and go, but spirit continues to nudge people to check us out so we can spread healing and light to those in need.
There have been many challenges through the years, but always, the right people and help have arrived to help us carry on. As they have done before, we know we are being guided with wisdom and love by God and our friends in spirit to keep the light burning in the soul of the church - for the church is the people who cherish it and who will meet again, in our building, when it is safe to do so.
With love and thanks, Rev. Patricia Gunn
Page updated December 11, 2020 at 2:08 p.m.