Holy Fool's Day Journal
Holy Fool's Day Journal
The Universal Christ Conference
by Charlie Myking
It's April 1st, 2019 - Monday … Holy Fool's Day. Little did I know that today I would meet the Crucified Christ in the lobby of the Double Tree Hotel in Downtown Albuquerque, NM. Fr. Richard Rohr's teachings, The Franciscan Way - Beyond the Birdbath, Breathing Underwater, and The Universal Christ have all conspired to transform my vision this very day.
From my journal, here are the events that took place that morning:
It's 8:48 a.m. in Albuquerque, NM. I am both filled and empty. This day I know and I don't know. This day I am in awe.
I was called to remotely access my work at 4:44 a.m. I showed up in faithfulness (thank you mom) and went to the hotel lobby to do the work I have been gifted to do.
Things went well. With patience and presence I performed my tasks successfully. Nearing completion, I looked up to see an aggressive male security guard ordering a woman in tattered clothing, who had been asleep on the couch right in front of me, out of the building. I had been so absorbed in my work I didn't even notice her there. My heart felt anguish and despair watching this woman in a short sleeved top trembling at the thought of returning to the cold early morning air. So sad, so sad I thought. I turned my attention back to my work so I could return to my warm bed.
When completed, I packed my things, hoisted the laptop carrying-case strap over my shoulder, grabbed my hot coffee and headed to the elevator. I rounded the corner and came face to face with the woman I thought had been expelled from the premises. Our eyes met. I was stopped in my tracks. The sad face of hopelessness, those wide glassy eyes, the weathered skin, disheveled hair and unmistakable desperation imprinted on my heart. I was touched deeply.
Something had found me in that moment and it stunned me in a way that I had never before experienced. With smitten heart I went to the elevator to go to my room. "Charles" a voice from my soul called as I got on the elevator and pushed 10. "Charles" again calling, like the voice of the gardener at the tomb calling for Mary. As I arrived at my floor, I stepped out of the elevator and once again heard ..."Charles, it is me!" I felt I was being called by Christ. I knew that I must go back downstairs.
Even then, I tried to continue to my room, but the voice got louder and louder. I returned to the elevator. I had a flash of insight that Christ was in the face of this broken one, this person who had been sleeping on the couch as I worked. She was the embodiment of the least among us - the crucified one, the executed Jesus, and here, now, I was receiving that call … and I must be in that presence.
By now a young female security guard had been assigned to watch this despised one to make sure she caused no further disturbance. I approached the guard and asked her to accompany me to the forsaken one. I gave the guard money and asked her to see that the woman got a hot meal. I then turned to look at that face. Again our eyes met. The woman's face was sorrowful and grieving. It seemed filled with pain and hopeless despair. She had fallen to a place that I could not have imagined. "Why hast thou forsaken me?" the spirit whispered in my ear.
I bowed before her saying "Christ loves you, and I love you." Our gaze met again and our spirits embraced in that deep, dark forsaken place. I departed weeping.
For the next few hours I lived in that compassionate, spiritual embrace, in the hurt and presence to this crucified one in plain view, the one I hadn’t even noticed as I did my daily work. Christ arose from the couch, Christ is risen and dwells with us. As St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians, "There is only Christ. Christ is everything, Christ is in everything." And, yes, that includes the people sleeping on the couch while you're trying to work.
Thank you, St. Francis of Assisi, for you have shown us the way to see Christ in all those we encounter.
April 1, 2019
Charlie participated in a Men's Rites of Passage at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico in 2018 (sponsored by Illuman of Texas and Illuman New Mexico) and has been involved in spiritual work and helping others for many years. He organizes and facilitates local councils among men in Northeastern Ohio. Charlie and his partner Beth live in Dublin, Ohio and are also very active in building a supportive community of friends and family.