All My Relations
by Debora Myers
The purpose of Ladyfire is to offer the key tools needed to empower people to reach their highest potentials in love as humans. Find that which makes you alive inside. Let your fire burn steady and long.
Look fear in the face. Walk into that fear and you’ll find that you can pull from your inner strength and go right through the door victorious over your perceived limitations.
One day I was with my 86-year-old grandmother. I see her every Tuesday and she counsels me through my inner demons, all my issues, which seem sometimes like they’ll swallow me whole. She shared with me a story of universal love when I was crying (which I do a lot) about the horribleness of people.
“I hate people” I cried, “why can’t we figure it out? Why is there so much violence and darkness? Sometimes I wish I could just disappear! Why the dark side? Where did it start and where does it end?” I looked to grandma and she smiled.
Grandma responded with, “Dear, during WWII, I was in Poland when the Germans invaded. We had nothing to eat so I would walk for miles to find food for my baby. I found a bakery that the Germans had taken over. The bread was baked 24 hours a day and stored in army tents for transfer to the German troops.
I would wait until nightfall and sneak into the compound, slide under the tent and cram a loaf of bread into my shirt, then sneak my way out and make the long walk home.
One night, as I rolled out from under the tent I was staring right down the barrel of a gun. A German soldier escorted me by the arm. I was frozen with fear. The thought of my child without his mother made my knees weak as we passed the officers tent and I numbly said my prayers, asking God to take care of my little Andy.
I assumed he was taking me to his superior officers, then I would be shipped off into a concentration camp or shot. But he looked over both his shoulders, saw that the coast was clear and only said to me “Don’t ever do that again, next time you come to me and I will give you bread.”
Then he let me go-with the bread still under my shirt. After that night, I came to him and he handed me the bread, risking his own safety so that I could take bread to my baby. He never expected or asked for anything in return. Before he was transferred he introduced me to another soldier that took over as bread giver and he gave me bread after the other German soldier was gone.”
Well, that shut me up and I wiped the tears from my face, feeling stupidly weak after hearing that, but she wasn’t finished with me yet.
“When I was living in New Mexico after my husband and I retired, I heard some noise in the back yard. I opened the door to see a grubby family of illegal aliens stripping my peach tree. They froze in fear and tears welled in my eyes. They were skinny, dirty and hungry. A little boy had peach juice dripping from his chin. His eyes were as big as saucers. I told them to come to the front door next time, gave them a sack for the peaches and some muffins and they went on their way. You see dear, I remembered how it felt to be hungry.”
The true crime to humanity as a whole is when we are offered a chance to grow and refuse that chance. Find the beauty that surrounds you! Love Life and Live Love!
Debora Myers is editor and co-founder of Ladyfire.com.
Photo by Craig Anthony Perkins