Last night God winked at me.
It was New Year’s eve and I was wandering around the zocalo (main square) in Oaxaca, Mexico with my mom and sister. The plaza was a beehive of over-sugared children, dancing clowns, delighted, wide-eyed tourists, teenaged kissing locals, and ubiquitous vendors selling cotton candy, balloons, and flashy light plastic swords.
Standing in the center of all of this happy chaos stood God.
Well, God posing as a very inebriated man.
Two stories before I get to the sacred, drunken wink:
I knew it was God because of Joan of Arcadia, a television show a friend turned me on to a couple of years ago.
In each episode, Joan (of Arcadia, CA) is given tasks by God to complete. Joan is a teenage girl, so she is less than thrilled by God’s attention and requests, as they 1. often get in the way of her social schedule and 2. have her doing nonsensical or not-so-popular things like joining the chess club. Sometimes Joan gets to see the greater Divine wisdom behind her appointed tasks, sometimes she doesn’t.
The other cool thing about the show is that God likes to surprise Joan by wearing different clothes during revelatory visits. Sometimes God is the janitor at Joan’s school, sometimes God is the homeless woman on the side of the street, sometimes the kid at the playground.
You just never know where the Creator will turn up next.
The second story (greatly shortened and slightly Pixie-ized) is about a man in India who loses everything and winds up sitting in a drunken stupor by the Ganges River. Someone mistakes him for a sadhu (a wandering mystic), someone else points him out as a wise person, and like a game of telephone there are soon crowds of people around this man, who becomes known for his amazing capacity to hold liquor and deliver wise, pithy statements. Some of his followers become enlightened.
The question of this story: Does it matter how one becomes enlightened?
Okay, back to my wink from God on New Year’s Eve in Oaxaca.
Baggy, stained pants. Einstein wild hair. Planted with flat feet in the middle of the path, teetering slightly.
My brain said, “Avoid.” My heart said, “Engage.”
So as I passed this out-of-place stranger I turned and offered him a smile and an open heart.
That’s when he sun beamed me with a thousand-watt smile and a knowing wink.
And thus God snuck up and reminded me that we are all connected, nothing is separate, and to look for the light in the most unexpected of places.
May we all learn to trust our hearts in 2011….