Recently a homeless man wandered in to my yoga class which meets in a downtown church. He had Ben Franklin hair and carried his valuables in a Taco Bell cup. He wanted to take the class so our awesome instructor gave him a blue mat and a lavender scented eye pillow. He asked to keep his shoes and cup near her for safety. “Of course,” she said.
So we began; the instructor, five middle-aged women and Ben Franklin, right next to me naturally. I confess, it was a little disconcerting to keep my eyes closed and my mind empty with a homeless man on the mat next door. I did sneak a peek now and then. He was about as limber at yoga as I am at competitive gymnastics but unlike me, he was utterly unselfconscious in his practice.
After class he told the instructor it was different than the yoga he was used to, much harder. She praised his effort and thanked him for coming. And I thought for the millionth time, “Wow, nothing in a book or movie is ever as interesting as real life!”
At the end of each yoga class, our instructor leads namaste. Roughly translated from Sanskrit namaste means “I bow to you.” She says, “the light in me honors the light in you.” Every time, Matthew 25:40 comes to mind, “I tell you this: anything you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did for me.” For me, it so easily translates into the Christ in me honors the Christ in you. This week, it was acted out before my very eyes, the Light in our teacher honoring the Light in Ben Franklin.
The truth is, his homelessness may be a figment of my prejudice. What I know for sure is that his presence was a gift ~ the very embodiment of Christ among us ~ inviting us to welcome Him with grace and kindness. peace & prayers, pastor annette