There's a well known biblical story about a Jewish man who is beaten and left for dead. People pass him by until a Samaritan - historically enemies of Jews - helps him. Jesus told the story to answer a question: "Who is my neighbor?" The neighbor is the one who shows mercy to an injured fellow human, hence the name the Good Samaritan.
Another story comes to mind about a boy scout who returned to headquarters dishevelled and bloody. "What happened?" his Scoutmaster asked. "I helped a little old lady across the street," the youth replied. "But why are you beaten up?" The scout grimaced. "She didn't want to go!"
This introduces our LoveCasting motto: "Let Love radiate, without concern for results." Ideally, what we offer - prayers, healing energy, empathetic support - is provided in response to a request for help. We always show up to support, not to impose.
How do we know when someone needs our energetic help? That's what the Noon Club practice is for. Tuning in every day when our phone alert goes off, we focus our antennae, sensing who could use some Love, then we offer it, with no strings attached.
This becomes challenging when a friend is in dire need. It's not appropriate to "hope" they get well. That's sympathy. Empathy is different. We may feel their pain; certainly we are sorry they are suffering, but we aren't arrogant enough to assume we know what should happen. This kind of compassionate detachment doesn't just show up, it takes practice to cultivate. We learn to extend Love, and let go of any result we might want.
This is called "perfect love." And it was said that perfect love casts out fear. LoveCasting, expressing perfect love (no strings attached) allows Life to have its way. Beyond what we want, beyond what anyone else wants, there's a design to what's meant to happen moment by moment, coordinated with what's happening everywhere in the cosmos. Our one desire is to facilitate that happening, even if it leads to a result we don't like.
There's an old story about a mother begging her church group to pray for her young son who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. They did and, miraculously, he survived. He grew up wild and killed someone. So, this raises an ethical dilemma: was it "right" that prayer saved his life? If he had died, another mother's son would have lived. There's no simple answer to this but it emphasizes the point: "Let love radiate, without concern for results."
This week, practice LoveCasting with this in mind, noticing what comes up for you whenever you think of someone and begin to extend your empathatic energy towards them. Can you shed your agenda and extend perfect love?