December 16, 1992 Wednesday Night, Aaron's Christmas Stories

Aaron: I promised you some Christmas stories tonight. Many of you have heard me, in past years, talk about the being whose birthday you will celebrate next week, the one who was known as the human, Jesus, or the Christ. I do not wish to repeat myself, but I realize there are a number of you here who have not heard me speak of him before. There are transcripts available, but I will tell it very briefly.

I was a young boy at the time of that being's birth, in incarnation at that time, as were many of you. I lived in that part of the world where he was born. When I was an adult, I came to know him. I was not a wise man, or a teacher in that lifetime, but a simple shepherd. I loved him with all my heart. I knew, at that first meeting, that was a being that I would follow anywhere, and yet, and I want to emphasize, I do not consider myself a Christian. I was not a Christian in that lifetime, nor was he. I do not label myself as a follower of ANY religion, I have been of all the world's religions in one incarnation or another. My talk here is not about the church that evolved around being, but about the man himself.

Regardless of the facts of his birth, once he took human incarnation, he was fully human. When he was cut, he bled; when he was emotionally hurt, there was pain in his heart. He experienced the veil of forgetting only in small part and not with the opacity most humans experience. He always retained a good deal of clarity about who he was, and why he was here.

Why was he here? Quite simply, to teach peace and forgiveness in a world in which those terms had little meaning. It was a world in which there was an attempt at the morality of not stealing, or not killing, but above that moral stricture was the philosophy of an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Not do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but do unto others as they do unto you-if he hits me, I can hit him. People thought more in terms of justice, of balance: one wrong equaling another wrong, not of forgiveness and of healing.

It was into such a world that he was born, to teach a different lesson: that there can be healing, there can be forgiveness. And it is ONLY with that healing and forgiveness that an end to karma is possible, only with that forgiveness that the whole world can begin the process of healing. The idea that two wrongs do not create a right was new in the world of that time. Many felt a need to blame others and could not hear his teaching; it was threatening to them. But others responded with joyful hearts.

My emphasis is that once incarnated he was human and knew human pain and fear. Earlier tonight I spoke about surrender of the small will of the ego self, about the suffering that grows out of attachment and fear, I said that we are each only a thread in the whole tapestry. The thread cannot know the finished design. The brain shakes in fear while the heart moves gently forward. I spoke of letting go of need to control, knowing that you, as human, cannot see the whole picture, but the divine aspect of self knows deeper wisdom. This I learned from him!

I ask you to look at his death, this man who had the power to heal by his touch. Certainly, he did not need to die hanging on a cross. He had the power to choose abundance, power and glory for himself, but it was clear to him that was not why he was here. One could well argue that, had he become a king, he could have spread his message far and wide.

It's easy for one who is not faced with pain to speak of forgiveness. Far harder for one who is nailed to a cross to say "Forgive them." What would have been the impact of such forgiveness had he aspired to and attained that worldly glory? Nor did he NOT seek that. He did not AVOID acclaim nor seek it. His focus was not on being powerful or fierce, nor in being humble or hidden, but simply on teaching love. Just that. And he trusted his life, that it would lead him where it needed to. Certainly, he had a preference. Before his death he prayed, "Take it from me, it is too much to bear. But if it be Thy will, I will carry it." That is expressing a preference and then saying "Thy will be done."

I want to add a personal story here. When I speak of my relationship with him, please understand that I was a simple shepherd, not a known disciple of his, just a simple man who loved him. When his travels brought him near to where I lived, I sought out his presence for a few blessed days. I had an eldest son named Mark. I first brought Mark to see him when he was a small child, and through the years as he grew. For those days, friends would tend my sheep. It was very important, to me and my son, to spend those few days with him, but I had a wife and other, younger, children and felt the pull of my responsibility to stay just a few days and leave.

Then there was a year where the one who had been my wife died. I was feeling deep grief, for I loved her very much. Hearing that he was nearby, just a few days walk, I left my younger children with relatives and, with Mark, walked to where he was. I had an accident upon the way. Walking on a rocky slope, I slipped, fell quite a way down the slope, and my leg was broken. People came to help. They bound the leg, and as I was not far from where he was encamped, they carried me to him. This was a man who could perform miracles, who could heal the blind, and raise the paralyzed up on their legs.

I talked once about the fact that he preferred NOT to perform such miracles, because he did not want to be worshipped as a god, but known as a man. He understood that it was not my leg that most needed healing, but my heart, which was broken from my loss. I had small children, how would I raise them alone? What would I do without my beloved companion? I knew, also, that he could do miracles, and I beseeched him "Heal my leg. I must go home to my children, to my sheep." He simply looked at me and said "Mark can tend the sheep." And it was true that the children were well cared for by loving relatives. It was my fear that was pulling me home, and he understood that. It was my fear that if I stayed there with him, my heart would break, because, somehow, being in his presence, I had allowed myself the feeling of grief that I had been suppressing.

It took six weeks for my leg to heal. For the first two weeks, I was very angry with him. I was helpless. I could not walk, only be carried. He saw that I was well tended, but I pushed him aside. Why would he not heal my leg? I knew he could do. Slowly, my heart began to soften, and I understood the real reason I was there was not for the leg, but for the heart. His love helped me to let go of her, to trust my life. By the time my leg was healed, I was ready to go back into the hills to my family and my sheep with a confidence and faith that everything would be just as it needed to be. As it was. That is when I the learned lesson: "Thy will be done."

My anger did not threaten him. Not that he found my feelings to be trivial. Simply, he was not afraid of my anger. If I would not speak to him because he wouldn't heal my leg, that was fine. He knew what I needed. I did not know. Had he been any other lesser being, who could have performed such miracles, perhaps he would have healed my leg, and I would have rushed back to the hills filled with the same fear and anguish with which I had left them. I am only one thread in the tapestry. May I make a thread as beautiful, as radiant as possible. Thy will be done. Can we all learn a lesson from his life, but especially from his death?

The love and generosity of his life and his death shine brilliantly on all our lives. Even unto death, I trust your plan. "Lift from me, but if it be Thy will, I will carry it." I ask of you, as you celebrate the time of his birth, think about this aspect of his message, and ask yourself, "How can I live my own life with deeper faith?" That is all.