Lucy deserves a special mention
You wouldn’t think it from this “post-mercy” photo, but when Megan called Lucy over to our table, Lucy was smoking a cigarette and emanating a vibe like she was the one being burnt.
She touched a few of the books, and Megan presented her “Hiding in Unnatural Happiness” when she touched it. Megan talked to her about the author and about how popular this new book is. Then Lucy picked up “A Higher Taste,” and we told her how popular it has been for decades.
She then asked if we sold them or took donations.
As we talked, she said, “I am not happy. That is why I was interested in this one on unhappiness.”
She quickly went on to ask if we hold them for her until she came back.
While we waited for her to return, I kept thinking about her honesty and her realization that she was with people she could call out to for help, from within the burning fires of material illusions.
When she came back out, she had actually forgotten, because her extremely unhappy and aggressive “friend” (of the dreadlock-gangster-looking description, though he probably is sweet at heart) had chased into the store after her to hurry her along.
But Megan and I both called out to her, and she instantly remembered and came right over saying she could only afford a few coins. She asked whether she could take just the Higher Taste.
I told her to take the HIUH also, for whatever she could give. And then, because I wanted to reciprocate with her honesty and sincerity, I said, “You know, Lucy, the secret to happiness is to spend much more time around people who are not just pretending.”
She looked up with big eyes for a moment and reached into her wallet and took out her only bill and handed it to us. She gave a generous donation, along with her coins.
Megan then jumped in and started telling her all about the Loft.
Finally we asked her for a photo, and her habitual, abused, and exploited un-nurtured self lowered her head and said she looked terrible and couldn’t be in a photo. But we both persisted in telling her how amazing she seemed to us, and when I look at this photo now, it’s clearly the “after” photo – after she got the mercy of Lord Caitanya.
So Lucy touched our hearts and deserves a special mention.
On the drive back to New Varshan, we discussed how privileged we are to take part in Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan movement. We considered the incredible difference in the way that Lucy was raised versus how Megan is being raised – of being treated like an object as a young girl, rather an as a person. How unnecessary it is for Lucy to think so little of herself. Megan could so clearly see how much of a difference sankirtan makes in the lives of the people. She is becoming expert in calling them over to the book table.
Lucy is an incredibly vivid case of the before-and-after effect of Lord Caitanya’s mercy. She went from cigarette-smoking, desperate unhappiness and a stark, outright admission – “I want this book, because I am unhappy,” spoken to the thirteen-year-old girl who called her over to the table – to the final smile of ecstasy upon encountering the sankirtan movement.
You can see that here in the photo.
Param vijayate sri krishna sankirtana!
Nitai-cand and Bhaktin Megan