The garbage collector and life’s truths

Nov. 07, 2013 @ 08:58 AM

Joe was a garbage collector.  Working alone, he would drive his truck up to the curb, put the brakes on, swing out of the cab, step over to a garbage can, grab it and swing it up into the truck.  

Then he would retrieve the empty garbage can, set it down and drive off.   It was quietly done – and as smooth as a conductor leading an orchestra.

He was a hard worker, cheerful, and willing to do extra chores.     

Joe wanted to be a healer.  He took classes in Reiki and learned the subject well.  Reiki is a well-recognized system of spiritual healing, very much like the  “laying on of hands.”

He became proficient as a Reiki practitioner, and felt it was his life’s calling.        

Joe was a blessing to people while at work as a garbage collector, and a blessing to those who received Reiki from him.

Years passed.  Joe began to feel that his Reiki work was declining, and that his attempts at healing were failing.  Some of his patients were not helped – and some of them died.

What hurt him the worst was when his attempts to heal children with cancer would fail.  

“Why couldn’t I help that little girl?” Joe would ask himself 

He prayed often.  “Dear God, help me to heal the little Jones girl.  I am perplexed, sad, and feel worthless.  Help me improve my Reiki technique.”

The prayers did not help.  He would approach healing sessions with a frown on his face, and would put every ounce of his concentration on his patients.  Still, many of his patients were not helped.

This continued until he was in the darkness of despair.

Finally, he surrendered to God.   “Here I am, God.  I surrender all.  Show me the path toward You.  I will give it all up, I will do whatever will bring me closer to you.  Amen.”

That night, in his sleep, Joe had a dream.  In the dream he was doing a healing on a man, and he looked down at his right hand.  There was a wrench in his hand.  This dream disturbed him and he woke up.

He sat up on the side of his bed.  “What does this dream mean?” He wondered.  

Joe knew how to calm his mind.  He forced himself to take regular, deep breaths.   Now he was ready to concentrate on the meaning of the dream.

The answer came to him!  He had approached his healing sessions just like a mechanic trying to fix a car.  This explained the wrench in his hand.  He was looking at the healing process through his logical mind, seeking to say the correct prayer words, to breathe correctly,  to hold his hands in the right positions, to ground himself  -- on and on.

In short, he was doing all the work himself, and not letting spirit flow through his body from a higher source.   More than that, he was looking at each case from the point of view of his own ego.  If the patient was cured, he was a successful.  If the patient died, he was a failure.

This was not correct.  Healings do not come from the healer alone.  The patient has a part in the healing.  The patient’s attitude and cooperation play a part.  The fundamental truth is that healing flows from a higher source.    Sometimes, a physical healing is not the ultimate need.  Sometimes, that which is needed was just unconditional love – not a physical healing at all.  Sometimes, the ultimate healing is death. 

God is in charge, not Joe.

Joe’s life changed completely.   He became even more cheerful than before.  He experienced things with serenity.  He no longer frowned when he began a healing.   He no longer worried about the technical parts of his healing technique.  He simply allowed spirit to move through him.

If a patient was not cured, the news would no longer devastate him.

If someone came up to him and thanked him for a healing, he would reply, “I have done nothing.  The work was done by a higher power.”

The dream taught Joe a powerful truth:  As you go through life’s challenges, try not to look at things only through your eyes.  The goal is to look at things through God’s eyes. 

Stanley Peele is a retired judge.