This is the final post from my San Miguel de Allende experience. As a participant in this story, I was unable to take a photograph, nor would it have been appropriate. As such, I’ve pulled a photograph from my archives; a photograph that represents what this woman was to me — a lighthouse.
Standing in the central part of San Miguel de Allende taking candid photos during their colorful, Day of the Dead celebration, my attention was caught by an elderly woman who’d journeyed in from the campo — the outskirts of town.
Bent from time and weathered with age, her small gnarled hands gripped two short sticks to steady her steps as she slowly progressed. A swathe of fabric wrapped over her shoulder — positioned at an angle across her back — sheathed her few worldly possessions.
And while many others who visibly fared much better asked for handouts, this elderly woman looked neither left nor right, but remained focused on the task at hand — to make it into the cathedral.
Curiosity piqued, I followed her. Ever so slowly she made her way to the third pew from the back on the right-hand side. I sat in the back pew on the left to study the elderly woman unobserved. Her silent sermon spoke volumes to my heart as she sat with eyes closed, palms upward in supplication toward the crucifix at the front of the church:
Keep moving forward — even through the pain
Don’t be held hostage by the opinion of others
Limit material possessions — they are a burden
Make time to sit with God
Carefully folding money so it would fit, I quietly made my way across the aisle and gently pressed a bill into her work-worn, ancient hand, tucking her fingers as I did. Before I could step away, gnarled fingers grasped mine, while her other hand slowly and repeatedly made the sign of the cross — touching my head, chest, and shoulders — as she spoke.
And while I didn’t understand her words, I clearly understood that I was being blessed; that her cloudless, silver-grey eyes took in far more than my features — they took in my heart. More importantly, as my tears washed down her deeply lined face, I knew that I was looking into the face of God.
When was the last time someone looked into your heart?
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan
Discovering the Seven Selves Life Harmony Facebook
The photograph featured in this post was taken at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia.
© 2012 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved
I remember this day as if it were yesterday. What a God-inspired moment for the world to see. We were all changed forever by the witness of this blessing.
Rose – That woman’s image will forever be engraved in my heart and mind’s eye.
That was beautiful. Thank you, Laurie. I love these Tuesdays with Laurie.
Trish – I’m glad you enjoyed it, thank you for letting me know.
Wow, Laurie, what a powerful moment! I had chills reading this post. Do you remember the old movie “Oh God” with George Burns playing God? I believe God is in everyone and if everyone could accept that and live accordingly this would truly be a heaven on earth.
SuZen – Like you, I too believe that we are all an extension of source energy, divine love.
I loved this! Thank you!!
OneHotMess – I’m so glad this post resonated with you, thank you for letting me know.
Laurie…this is the most touching post. I am in tears reading it. What a blessing for you to experience this. Thank you for posting.
Cheri – I’m so glad this post touched your heart, thank you for letting me know.
So beautiful, Laurie. I think you were both blessed, and you blessed us all in return with the story. The Holy Trinity of blessings.
Kathy – Thank you, always, for the gift of your reflection. I oh-so-appreciate YOU!
wow, simply wonderful.
Jean – I’m glad you enjoyed this post, thank you for letting me know.
Your positive energies meet and the cosmos rejoiced. Thank you for this beautiful post.
I had the pleasure of sharing my heart, in writing, during a retreat I recently attended. This experience left me feeling validated, empowered and rejuvenated.
Leanne – And I believe I saw the photographs from that very retreat. I always love it when you take your readers on a virtual tour 🙂
More Kleenex, please. This post is so beautiful.
A few years ago, I volunteered for a local Christmas project. I was assigned to shop for toys for a 9 year old girl whose mother said she loved Barbie. This family was desperately in need of so many basics–like beds for each child. While those needs were being addressed, the toy shoppers were given a little extra in the budget. Of course, I bought several Barbie outfits. As it turned out, I was also assigned to the delivery team for this family. When this child opened two of the Barbie boxes, her eyes filled with tears and she ran across the room to our Santa, hugging him so hard and weeping into his red coat. We could actually feel her joy! Even the men who helped bring in the tree had to quickly step outside to wipe their eyes. I will never forget her face. She gave everyone on our team a wonderful gift that morning.
I got up really crabby today thinking of all I have to do in the next few weeks that relate to holiday activities. Thank you for reminding me what is important.
Chris – thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU for sharing this wonderful remembrance with us!
Truly, I can imagine her face and the spirit of God within her. Thank you. The word Namaste came to my mind … I believe the translation (and would welcome anyones further correction here) … it’s said to mean the god within me bows to the god within you. This is to me the moment you shared.
Audrey – yes, Yes, and YES again. You not only have the translation accurate, you perfectly captured the essence. Thank you.
I love reading your posts Laurie! And what a beautiful picture too! I have never seen a lighthouse in person before, I hope someday I will 🙂 I would say my twin sister knows me so well that she knows my heart pretty well ^^
Any Lucky Penny – I’ve always been fascinated by twins! And I hope that in the near future you’ll get to visit a lighthouse in person. The one in Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia is absolutely wonderful!
Your story brought tears to my eyes, Laurie – how deeply blessed both you and the elderly woman were to find each other in that moment of grace. Thank you so much for sharing. We are all divine.
Barbara – I’m glad this post touched your heart. It was, indeed, a moment of grace.
On my long walks around the lake I try to greet all the homeless at the public restrooms and sitting on the benches. I call the health center and get a connection if there are problems. Most are Vietnam Vets still suffering and out in the cold – usually wet. I just try to make eye contact and a connection because I believe each one is God talking.
I think our weather problems right now are Mother Earth talking – loudly and fervently about our course corrections needed.
I wrote a book review for the 6th post this week and I did not like the book, but I tried to keep in my that this piece of fiction came from someone’s belief and faith in his religion and from his heart – I do not think I did such a beautiful job and you did, and yet maybe I will sell a few books for him and find the folks who will resonate with his story?
This is a lovely post today Laurie and such beautiful takeaways….I am so working on freeing up the “stuff” which is a burden in my life….your words inspire me to keep at it.
Thank you for this wealth of sharing.
Patricia – Thank you so much for the gift of your reflection today. Eye contact and smiling are both gifts of validation. Thank you for bestowing them freely as you walk around the lake.
I can say nothing. I am left without words. What a memorable experience for you – I am envious.
Carol – Thank you for letting me know.
What a beautiful experience. You are so blessed, as is she. Thank you.
Lizziejoy10 – I’m glad this post resonated with you, thank you for letting me know.
Beautifully written story, Laurie. Recognized the lighthouse straight away too. . . I have a similar shot of that Peggy’s Cove beauty.
Alison – I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is one of my favorite lighthouses — I’m glad you recognized it.
What an absolutely beautiful and touching story! And her silent sermon is exactly what I needed to hear today, too. Thank you, Laurie. Peace be with you!
Deb – I’m glad this was a timely post for you, thank you for letting me know.
I am enthralled by this act of exchanging God and very humbled to have read your experience. You have transferred this to my heart now and I am eternally grateful.
Kathy S. – I love the way you put it, “…this act of exchanging God.” Thank you for painting that beautiful word picture.
This is so incredibly beautiful and one of the most touching posts I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Becwillmylife – I’m so glad this post resonated with you, thank you for letting me know.
I was just there too. I think I saw the same woman. I was drawn to her too and did take a picture as stealthily as I could with my iPhone. I would be happy to send it to you, don’t know if I can attach it here.
Anne – Oh yes please! My email address is Laurie@HolEssence.com thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!
Love this story hearing it for the 2nd time is just as lovely. What an impact for both of you. What a memory for both of you. Just a fabulous once in a lifetime experience. Thank you again for sharing. You are the best, Laurie!
Chris – Thank you for the gift of your reflection. I appreciate YOU!
Laurie, thank you for bringing this beautiful memory to let us us share in this wonderful encounter. So often it isn’t the big events of Life that can cause a shift in our paradigm, but only a tiny little incident can move the World as we know it. A small blessing has been multiplied over and over and given to countless people in the retelling of this story. Thanks again.
Sandi – You hit the nail smack-dab on the head: “…but only a tiny little incident can move the World as we know it.” Thank you 🙂
I am sitting here in tears as I read your story….tears with gratitude, tears with feelings of love, tears with hope….I love that this wise women blessed you, touched you, spoke to you in another language of Spanish yet translated into bursting love. This day was in fact a day when you looked into the eyes of God. Many people have never experienced nor ever will experience this blessing. I remember this day very clearly….and for you to recapture it with words is such an incredible talent…..You are an amazing author and I thank you for sharing your personal stories….stories from your heart. I love you my friend!
Sherry – Thank you for the gift of your reflection. I’m so very glad you were there to witness the event. Thank you, too, for sharing it with your friends on Facebook.
Thank you Laurie. This is beautiful, such a blessing.
Colleen – I’m glad this post resonated with you, thank you for letting me know.
Described PERFECTLY. Thanks Laurie. Those moments will remain with me forever. She is a blessing.
Linda – I’m so glad that you and many of the others were there to witness the heartfelt exchange that day. Thank you, too, for sharing it with your friends on Facebook.
Dear Laurie, Thanks for the post. As someone said to me long before, if one day there comes one tells you that she saw the face of god, you will be a little bit close to heaven.
Jody – I love that expression, “…you will be a little bit closer to heaven.” Wonderful!
She probably lived a simple honest life andthat energy was transmitted to you like Reiki.That was heart-felt and hand felt love between two wise women from entirely different backgrounds-Cheers!
Roamer – Much like Reiki, it was indeed a transmission of source energy (Divine Love). Thank you for the gift of your reflection.
“And while many others who visibly fared much better asked for handouts, this elderly woman looked neither left nor right, but remained focused on the task at hand — to make it into the cathedral.”
A vivid and unadulterated profile of faith in it’s purest form. Your descriptive prowess in framing this older woman’s simple reverence further enhances your acute observations of this memorable trip that surely will stay for you for the rest of your life Laurie. Lucille and I do often “look into each other’s heart,” especially during the holiday season. It’s unquestionably the most meaningful aspect of a relationship.
Sam – I love — absolutely love! — what you shared about you and Lucille looking into each other’s hearts. Thank you!
What a powerful story! I especially love the line about her “silent sermon.” I had to stop reading and think about that for a few moments – very powerful language. I’m so glad you were blessed by this encounter and could share the story with us. Thank you!
George – I’m so glad this post resonated with you, thank you for letting me know..
I have no immediate answer to your question Laurie. I am simply thankful that you shared your story. And your photograph is one of my personal favourites. May we all be blessed to see the face of our God in the face of another. Warm hugs, as always Terrill 🙂
Terrill – I absolutely love what you said, “May we all be blessed to see the face of our God in the face of another.”
I love moments like that.
I can’t do the god interpretation thing, the whole notion of god just does nothing whatever for me.
And I am consciously aware that our consciousness is just the time tip of a vast system of systems, that exist below the level of conscious awareness, and are so vast that they will be forever beyond conscious understanding in detail (though we may consciously understand the general principles involved in their operation, we have no chance of ever dealing with the detail).
Thus I can look at another person, even one who most people would write off as ignorant and unimportant, and be profoundly moved by the complexity involved in who they are, and by the humanity that they exhibit.
It is the idea that most people associate with “god” of the universe being purposeful, that our lives have some sort of meaning and purpose other than what we give them, that is the point that I choke at. To me, that seems to be a tool for control of people, and not a mechanism of empowering individuals to explore their own infinite potential in ways that work for them and everyone else (by whatever means they see fit).
So for me – it is a huge YES! to the humanity in every one of us, every old woman, every street beggar, every child – and I don’t see the idea of god doing much to help those individuals develop.
So I love the moment you describe, I love the love it embodies, the caring, the empathy, the connection beyond self, the connection to shared life as life itself; just not the god story.
read “tiny tip” for “time tip”
Ted – Yep, my mind had already made the change 🙂
Ted – I so applaud your philosophy:
“So for me – it is a huge YES! to the humanity in every one of us, every old woman, every street beggar, every child…”
My hat’s off to you!
Beautiful Laurie. It is reminders like this that we need – to remember that we can have that experience every day, with every person………if we choose.
Lisa – I echo your sentiments, “Every day with every person.”
Laurie, I don’t know what to say, my friend. I’m weeping. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
Kathy – I’m so glad this post resonated with your heart. Thank you for letting me know.
Such a beautiful post. “Make time to sit with God.” That struck me as well as the woman’s reaction. Sometimes I wonder if because I see someone who is different or homeless, that maybe I’m the one learning the lesson because of their soulful presence.
AirportsMadeSimple – Thank you so much for the gift of your reflection here today. I love your observation, “…their soulful presence.”
What a lovely post, Laurie, as always…(and your choice of pic is perfect)
Anne – I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for letting me know 🙂
Thank you. Lovely.
Aspergers Girls – Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed this post.
I love your pages and your form of self-expression, it is a pleasure to have you share your gifts through your pages Thank you. I have nominated you for blog of the Year please visit my page Blog of the year awards and nominations Thank you! Revised
Posted on December 9, 2012
Iamforchange – Well goodness gracious sakes alive – THANK YOU!
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I am at a loss for words after reading this post, Laurie. I’m trying to stave off the tears, but this post was so profound on so many levels. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Dana – I’m so glad this post resonated with your heart, thank you for letting me know.
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I can only imagine! Certain experiences are for the heart. Such experiences are the most valuable.
Teeceecounsel – You’re absolutely right in that this was definitely a heart experience 🙂
as you saw the face of God
your words painted the face of God as I read your tender words….
Beautiful….what a gift on this Christmas morning…
LadyBlueRose – I’m so glad this post resonated with your heart. Thank you for letting me know.
This is lovely, Laurie. I’m reading this for the first time as it was published before you and I were “buds.” Giving and receiving is such a holy act as you illustrate here.
Marian — This seemingly moderate encounter is one of the highlights of my life. Thank you for traveling back in time a bit so that I could share it with you, too.
I’m also reading this for the first time now. It’s a lovely and touching post, and even though I’m not a believer, I felt blessed along with you as I read the post.
Merril — Thank you so much for stepping back in time to read about my encounter in Mexico.