Posted by: Zane Maser | January 6, 2013


“Anything Can Help”
a sign held by a homeless man

On our bike trip to the grocery store, we zoomed into the parking lot, dodging all the busy traffic as the town swells once again with college students who are trickling back for their winter term. A slender man we often see was standing at the entrance of this hectic thoroughfare holding a sign: “Anything Can Help.”

This man appears to be homeless. He wears the same clothes day after day. He seems to subsist on the aluminum cans and glass bottles of the copious amounts of beer drunk by some of the university population. During the times of school, it’s a feast of 5¢ bottles and cans. During college breaks, like Christmas, it’s a time of greater famine, though some of our resident population routinely put their bottles and cans by the curbside for the circle of homeless men who continually scout the streets looking for a meal—5¢ at a time.

Community is what we can do to help one another.

On another day, at a different moment in time, my circumstances could just as easily cast me into the street, scratching for nickels. This homeless person could be me. He IS me. I AM him. You are both of us. We never know, from one moment to the next, how life can turn on a dime, and our situation morphs into something we couldn’t even imagine, such as the sudden death of our partner, or a fire that consumes every shred of our current identity and possessions, or the horrific aftermath of a Hurricane Sandy. The life we knew is no more.

Neale Donald Walsch, the internationally renowned author and speaker, is a prime example of the ever-present grace that surrounds each of us. His story turned tragic, in the early 1990’s, when all that he owned was lost in a fire, his marriage dissolved, and he suffered a broken neck in a car accident.1 Angry, discouraged, unemployed, broke, and alone, he headed south to Ashland, Oregon, where he took up residence in his tiny tent in a campground, living on what he rummaged from dumpsters and the nickels he earned from collecting cans and bottles. At that moment, his heart was in utter hopelessness and as far into the valley of the shadow of death as he could imagine.


But his spirit rallied gradually when he found work as a radio talk show host, a field he had worked in before his life was shattered. No longer homeless or despondent, Neale’s life transformed when he began his famous “dialogues” with God while sitting on his sofa. In 1995, the first of his popular Conversations with God was published. It was an international bestseller, remaining on the New York Times Bestseller List for 135 weeks. From rags to riches, he became a highly sought after lecturer and teacher, respected and loved worldwide. He has now published a staggering 28 books, six of which have also made the Times list, as well as his books being translated into 37 languages!7

Neale IS me. I AM him. You are both of us. Every second of hope, help, and compassionate understanding we give one another lifts the whole world. Every experience we have is purposeful. It’s an evolutionary journey—one choice, one step at a time. Had Neale not found himself in the pit of absolute desolation and darkness, the world would never have received his great gifts and legacy of conversing with God. In the valley, he found the mountain top.

That too could be me. That too could be you.

Related Posts:

• Charity Enacted

• The World is in our Neighborhood

• “Souper” Bowl of Caring 2012

• A Symbol of Hope

• Compassion On the Day of Love

• Loving Adoptions

• A Wall Of Love

• Resilience

• How Would You Be Remembered?

• Appearances



2. ibid.

Text © by Zane Maser, 2013. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved worldwide.

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My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.

If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.

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