What Is Your “Now” Quotient?

by Fionn Zarubica

The challenges we all face furthering love and understanding are powerful. 

There is a woman I know, I don’t know her well, in fact I only know her because she is a beggar on the streets of Belgrade.

We always seem to run into each other, and every time I see her she has a kind word and a welcome smile for me.

The other day our paths crossed and I didn’t have a dinar to offer, I was fresh out of cash; but that was OK, we just walked and talked.

She is not the beggar we like to fear and avoid.  She is gentle, gracious and dignified.  I probably have more reservations dealing with “acceptable” people than with her. 

I took the opportunity to ask her how it was to live so completely in the now.   I expected that she could tell me better than anyone because she is without a doubt walking the walk.  We all aspire to it, and sometimes we think we have it down, but this lady is solidly in the moment – never knowing how each day will unfold or if she will make it through.  And yet, she doesn’t seem to mind, and she doesn’t lose her cheer.

She just said that she knows that she will be taken care of and that all is well. All is well.

I spent the better part of the last year telling people with a lot more advantages here this truth, and they couldn’t hear me.  They were caught in fear and worry.

I am not advocating homelessness, and I am sure she has her challenges, but I have to say that I have deep admiration for her courage, modesty and unfailing spirit; and her ability to be kind to everyone she meets in spite of the pressures she faces.

She told me that I always make her feel happy with my smile.

We are all beggars on some level.  At times we try to get things from others we think we need, and there is at least one moment in all of our lives when we realize that we have to ask for help, even if only in our prayers.  My lady asks openly, all day, every day, and does so gently and without shame.  She has transcended the ego

As we walked and talked she expressed her regret that she had failed to keep one of the church fasts recently (she is a Serbian Orthodox Christian), and I just looked at her in wonder.  I said to her, “You do know that you are a spiritual teacher don’t you?”

God bless and keep my friend.

All is well…and LOVE is all that matters.


Image: An apple tree at Gradac Monastery near Raška, Serbia

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