A Thanksgiving Story
Loving kindness is greater than laws, and the charities of life are more than all ceremonies. – The Talmud
In our world now, so many are facing devastating floods, storms, fires and worse, and at times like these, seeing the good-hearted love and help of strangers and friends alike is unforgettable.
We had such an experience recently. We were away from the Fellowship barely two hours that Saturday night, but coming back, my wife and I found water pouring out the front door, half an inch covering the hall and kitchen tile, and a fire hose blast of hot water from the bathroom. Wading in there revealed a steamy Niagara Falls pouring from the sink cabinet. Turning an angle stop had no effect so I sprinted outside and shut off the water supply. Seeing water dripping from the ceiling, I prayed the sprinkler system hadn’t burst, and in the first good news of the evening, we found this was only condensation from the steamy air.
As our true friends rescue team arrived to help mop up the tile floors, we turned our attention to the water seeping under the carpets and across the rooms. We called an emergency flood service and plumber, only half expecting either would respond at 8:00 Saturday night. But what a blessing! Both came within an hour. The plumbing fix was simple – a ruptured angle stop feed line. Unfortunately, water soaking under carpets had already reached the furniture and walls and would soon wick up into the drywall. Carpets would have to come up and be dried out and, worst case scenario, we might have to remove and replace some drywall.
Meanwhile, our true friends rescue team had somehow spread the word, converged, and gone to work. They finished mopping and started moving things off wet carpets and out of the house. It wasn’t just picking up wet furniture – it was removing everything, even from the walls, so the vacuum and driers could work. More friends arrived from Gateway to help. We had just moved everything to the patio when, as if to test our resolve, it started raining and blowing onto the patio! We hurried to cover the exposed furniture and boxes with plastic and went to bed, exhausted.
Next morning, Sunday, should have been a day of rest for those who work six days a week, but with dehumidifiers blasting hot air constantly throughout the house our true friends were back early to help move furniture and boxes from the patio to another building, safe from weather and mice during the week-long drying-out.
During that week there were countless examples of the quiet, thoughtful helpfulness we associate with Lemurians, but seldom need to depend on this much. They took time from their own work to shoulder our duties, stayed with us as long as we needed help through the week of repairing and repainting walls. It felt like a pioneer barn-raising when neighbors came from miles around to help with a job too much for one family.
One brought us a care package of useful things like a flashlight when we couldn’t find ours and snacks when we couldn’t get to ours. No complaint about the extra workload was heard, though we know each of them has a very full schedule every day. Everyone seemed to take it all in stride.
We feel a deep and timeless spiritual connection to these selfless, reliable true friends of longstanding, not only in this life but who we are sure have worked with us other lives too. Our dual purpose of perfecting ourselves and helping others benefit from the Lemurian way of life never seemed more essential, or more satisfying, than it has since that difficult but very heartwarming night.