In life, recognized or not, way-showers appear in our lives throughout our earthly existence. We know our parents and school teachers as way-showers. There is no question that way-showing is that which they do for us. We recognize this as their purpose. But what about all the others who just appear in our lives to guide us and show us the way? What about ourselves and the roles we fulfill as way-showers for others we meet along the way? Are we aware of ourselves and the others as Spirit guides?
Meditation today revealed one such example in my life, dating back to my high school days. I was an entering freshmen at Baltimore City College High School during those tumultuous late sixties. There were so many of us (800 freshmen), they split the school into two shifts. The first floor of that magnificent building we referred to as “The Castle on the Hill” was teaming with students. I became disoriented and confused – I had no idea where I was supposed to report to homeroom. A kind young man recognized my mental state and asked me where I needed to go. I responded and he pointed the way. Somehow, he knew the way. He showed me the way. He was one of those others who just happened to appear in my life out of nowhere. Why? To show me the way.
Like Jesus the Christ is for countless millions of humans, this young man, Kurt Schmoke, was a way-shower. He became my way-shower. I found my homeroom class because Kurt reached out to me – made a connection. Kurt Schmoke was to become the star quarterback on the varsity team and later was elected President of our graduating class. Kurt became Mayor of Baltimore after attending Oxford, Yale and Harvard Universities. He went on to become Dean of students at Howard University and is currently President of University of Baltimore.
In life, we do not always recognize these way-showers when they appear because the act of struggling can be blinding. However, when I now recall this gentle powerful soul, it is not unlike the presence of Jesus amongst his constituents. The reason for this is the connection that occurs when one soul reaches out to another. Kurt Schmoke was looking to connect with me at that moment our eyes met. He reached out to me because he wanted to help me. He did not know me as a friend or any other thing. In that moment, some presence knew I needed help and he was the vessel through whom the help flowed. That presence knew that It knew that it knew at that instant. There was no question that Kurt was giving to me and I was receiving from him. The acceptance of this reality was immediate and turned on a connection just like we turn on a light.
A few years ago at our high school 50th reunion, Kurt once again served as my way-shower when there was a mix-up with our tickets for the event. Kurt personally fixed this and sent me a new set of tickets from his office at University of Baltimore. At the reunion, Kurt and I reconnected, remembering that September day in 1964 when he showed me where to go. This is the nature of way-showing. We are all way-showers by nature. Connection is engagement. Reaching out to help others is our purpose in life.
Being and allowing
Surrendering and following,
Feeling and breathing,
I am always here for you.
Loving, laughing and living;
The heart speaks and I know.
Chris Glik, RScP