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Whether physically young or old you are first and foremost Soul, an eternal spiritual being here to learn more about love. None of the ups and downs of life will ever change this. This is also true of your neighbor, so find time to love one another. Listening with an open heart qualifies.

Paul Nelson Photo

Photo by Paul Nelson

Early one Sunday morning I drove to the store for an errand. Part way there I got a sudden nudge to turn the car immediately into another store. I only had about a two second window to decide whether to turn or not. Had I passed the turn I would probably have kept on going to my original destination, without giving it a second thought.

Throughout my years at the Nature Awareness School, I have learned to listen and trust these quiet, often subtle, tuggings at my heart. In the past I often let my agenda and my itinerary override input from the Divine. But time after time I had experienced and heard others who benefited from following an inner nudge. Spirit speaks to us continually to guide, protect, and to offer us opportunities to help others. I said, “Yes” without hesitating, accepting the adventure.

I went into the store, not knowing what to expect, but knowing there must be some reason to be here. An elderly man was handing out flyers by the door. We did not make eye contact, but I wondered if he was the reason for my nudge to enter the store. Not sure where to go from here, I stopped at the customer service area near the entrance and began to look over one of the weekly specials, listening for further guidance from the Prophet. I felt drawn to this man, feeling like there was an opportunity to interact with him, so I began walking towards him. I was not sure what I would say or how he would react. He must have felt it too, because he bridged the short distance between us and handed me a flyer. I greeted him and we began to chat.

It seemed like he had been waiting a long time to talk with someone. I wondered how many times I encountered other Souls without ever really acknowledged them, accepting what they offered with no further thought. Bypassing any of the usual introductions or social niceties, the man began to speak to me, Soul to Soul. I listened. His wife had died ten years ago, he told me, and he couldn’t afford to live off of social security. An inner nudge encouraged me to remain open to what he had to share. I had never met this man before but he shared with me as easily as if we had known one another for years. He had turned eighty-four last June and he’d been in this area since he was fourteen years old. He happily recalled working on a farm for six dollars a week and buying a new suit for only seven dollars. The time he recalled was such a different world. A strong survival instinct is one of Soul’s many qualities. This man had done what he needed to adapt. Still, there were challenges and struggles.

As he continued to share with me, he put his hand on my shoulder, pulling me closer to him as if he did not want to let go of the moment. He had tears in his eyes that he kept wiping away with a tissue in his other hand. I was not viewing him as the shell he had worn these many decades. Instead I heard and saw the glowing spark of God, which he truly is. He welcomed me to come visit him again. I left, feeling peaceful. The joy of following Spirit, of completing the adventure, left me feeling grateful for my encounter. I doubt the man remembered me after that, but I still think of him years later. It was a gift for me to meet this Soul who had heartbreaks and joys that punctuated the story of his life. Balancing survival in the physical world while growing in awareness of the boundless world of Spirit is the story of Soul. His story was beautiful and I was blessed to hear it.

I gained two insights, two pearls of wisdom from this experience. First, there is so much more to our, and others, experiences. How often do we stop at the surface when looking at life? When we take the time to leave our bubble of safety and comfort we can really see people for who they are, Soul. This is very doable in the everyday hustle and bustle of our busy lives when we remember to tune in and let that still small voice within guide us. Second, when we listen as Soul, we listen with more than our limited physical senses. Responding to these quiet calls of Spirit, we open the doorway for others to share their hearts.

Written by Chris Comfort