Today I am sharing something (with permission) from someone else’s (Jessica Shaffer’s) blog because I liked it so much. Enjoy.
“It was during a lunch rush. I was waiting tables at the time and had a table of three, two men and a woman. One of the men was obviously hurting. He was in deep conversation with his friends and intermittently would burst into tears. I gave the table a wide berth while quietly servicing their needs. I had a casual thought that this guy could use a little perk in his day, and so I reached into my tip earnings, grabbed a dollar bill, and bought a sugar cookie from the bakery counter that was part of the café. When I presented their bill, I gave the man the cookie and said, “I thought you might appreciate a reminder that there is still some sweetness in life.” That was it. They left. I never saw the man again.
“A few hours later, after the din of the lunch rush, I saw someone carrying a tremendous bouquet of flowers into the restaurant. I remember being struck by this image because the bouquet was so large it completely obscured the face of the person carrying it. The effect was a swath of color and texture hanging as if suspended in air. To my surprise, the flowers floated over to me. The face that emerged from behind the bouquet belonged to one of the friends of the distraught man from that afternoon. He took my hand and said, “These are for you. You have no idea what you did earlier today, but your sugar cookie changed the path of one man’s life. We will always be grateful for the kindness you showed.” Then he left.
“I was floored. It was a moment of impact that literally stopped me in my tracks. Here I had been wallowing in self-doubt, consumed for months by a feeling that I was floundering in life, and suddenly, a perfect stranger showed me that my simple, off-handed, $1 gesture had made a difference in the world. A big difference. And that’s when I started to understand in a deep and visceral way that things are not always what they seem.
“In my Reiki classes, I often talk about balancing the form and the essence of the practice. There is a simple protocol one follows to practice Reiki. This form is important and provides a container of support. But there is also the dynamic essence of the Reiki energy which flows through and often transcends the form. The essence is what illuminates the practice. This balance between what we do (form) and how we do it (essence) is at the heart of everything.
“What I learned that afternoon over 20 years ago, is that the form a life takes matters, but only in that it provides a channel for the essence of something greater to flow through. True, I was just a waitress, but that day, I touched a man’s soul by the way I showed up in my role as waitress.
“No matter what we find ourselves doing, we have the potential to be agents of grace. We do not have to be “healers” to heal. If we are aligned with some deeper place of flow, we can allow our quiet compassion and our humanity to peek through our day-to-day contributions. Then the simplest act can impact those around us in profound and often, unseen ways. And even a sugar cookie can change the world.”