Thursday, November 7, 2013

Everlasting Souls

"There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors."
C.S. Lewis 

Traveling is a great opportunity for people watching. Airports, jets, foreign countries no matter how familiar...they're all an opportunity to observe the beautiful, horrible, amazing world and everyone in it.

There were people going to Dubai, South Africa, and Thailand. There were Americans, Asians, and Indians. They were all dressed differently, speaking different languages, from different cultures, different climates, different worlds.
All going somewhere different.
And yet they were all the same. All mothers or fathers or sons or daughters. Brothers and sisters and cousins. Waiting and working, walking or riding and carrying bags and making sure the children get on the subway. Tired and stressed out, excited and happy. At their best, at their worst. Loving or hating, searching for God or running away from him. Immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

I saw a young Arab couple working together to take their tiny baby through customs. They didn't want the baby to go through the scanner. But the mother was dressed in the full headdress and black cloak and she wasn't about to get a pat-down. Nor did they want to hand their child to a TSA official. So she handed the baby to the dad, and he took the baby through the other side while she went through the scanner. I assume he got a pat down on the other side. They were so cute, seemingly so ordinary and yet so unusual.

Sometimes I love people. They're friendly and thoughtful and unpredictable. They're beautiful and whimsical and eccentric. Everyone is unique but they all are the same in the best ways. 

Sometimes I hate people. They're selfish and obnoxious, they talk all the time or they refuse to talk, they're ugly and boring and they're all exactly alike in the worst ways. 

But no matter how I feel about them at the moment, every person I come across is an immortal. Eternal. They will live forever and their life in eternity depends on their life here on Earth. They are all searching for answers, for love, for truth. Some of them have found it, some only think they have found it. Some of them have found it and decided they don't like it.

Some of them may see it in me. Am I showing them light and truth even when surrounded by darkness and lies? Am I showing them love when all I feel is revulsion? (You are so mean. So stupid. So ugly. Why are you bringing four cats on the plane with you? Your clothes don't fit right. Your clothes are immodest. You're wearing too much make-up.) That may be what I see when I look at people. That may be what anyone would see when they look at those people. 

But those are not just people. Those are the bodies of everlasting souls.

You are so fragile. So misinformed. So unhappy. Do you know what is really important in life? Your clothes and make-up don't matter. The way you are acting, good or bad, doesn't matter. You are destined for eternal death or everlasting life. It is your choice to make. What can I do?