Secret Courage: A True Story

posted in: Blog, channeling, compassion | 8

People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.

                                                      ~ Herman Hesse, German poet and novelist ~


We’ve told this story before, many years ago. But it’s worth revisiting, especially in the context of today’s world, where courage, secret or not, seems so rare.

When we were kids, my brother, cousins, and I loved to roam through the forests and fields, hills and valleys of our rural home area.

Back in those long-ago days, it was perfectly safe. Except for one dense, bleak wooded area. That place, it seemed to us, was haunted by a dark spirit.

That “spirit” was actually a huge, hulking man — a homeless person, people would call him today. He lived alone in the forest. If we came too close to his place, he would come storming out of the dark woods and threaten us with curses and foul words.

We were scared to death of him, he seemed so sinister. So we avoided that area as much as we could.

Then one day, we heard he’d died.

So, being the curious kids we were, we finally had the courage to explore the place where he’d lived.

It was heart-wrenching, even to our young eyes. The place was a mess, with garbage and his ragged clothing strewn all over the place — plus his few meager possessions.

Even today, all these years later, I can still feel the sadness and sorrow he must have felt living such an isolated, lonely life.

Then, a bit later, we learned more about him. Bizarrely, he came from a famous and wealthy family. If I told you their name, you would recognize it.

Of the underlying story, we knew only bits and pieces. But it must have taken a lot of courage—secret courage—for that tortured soul to abandon all he left behind.

Appearances are always deceiving, because we never see the underlying realities.


What was your first reaction when Johnny described the homeless man?

Did you simply judge him as a hopeless, lost man? Or did you see him as a child of the universe, worthy of being loved and nurtured?

Do you think the man went to hell (whatever that is) when he died because he abandoned his family? Or was he welcomed Home with love and open arms?

Was the man what he appeared to be to Johnny and his family?

He definitely was not the lost, hapless soul he appeared to be.

Next time you’re tempted to judge or condemn someone because of what they appear to be, remember what appearances really are. They are simply illusions.

Your purpose in life is to see as God/Goddess sees—to see the divinity in all people, all sentient beings, all seemingly “inanimate” beings. They are all alive and nourished by the divine energy of all that is.

In fact, they—like you—are God.


Here is a short, thought-provoking video produced and narrated by James Twyman. It’s part of his Daily Step Into Heaven series. Enjoy!

Copyright © 2019 by John Cali

Have you ever judged someone or something based only on appearances? Perhaps appearances you later discovered were totally misleading?

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


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8 Responses

  1. Pat Ruppel

    Always welcome, John, and truly appreciate your invite messages of things to learn and think about. For us, we’re warming up some and showing signs of melting. God bless.

    • John Cali

      Thanks again, Pat. Glad to hear you’re warming up. God bless you also, my dear friend!

  2. Pat Ruppel

    Sad to think there are so many around us showing one thing on the outside but feeling something totally different on the inside.

    Interesting how something I recently read by Rachel Naomi Remen in “My Grandfather’s Blessings” where she talks about wholeness and the invisible life inside an acorn where it looks one way but nurtured and cared for can becomes a mighty oak.

    Thank you for sharing, John. Love and hugs from your neighboring Coloradoan.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Pat.

      That really is sad. So many are covering their inner anguish with a falsely brave face, especially men. I like that analogy of the oak. We all have that mighty oak within us, but we never let it grow.

      And thank you, Pat, for you always-wise sharing.

      Love and hugs to you too, dear, from your northern neighbor in frozen Wyoming.

  3. Ilona

    The challenge is understanding that Ed, too, is a child of God, and that we are one.

  4. Ilona

    Yes, I have definitely mis-judged someone by his appearance. My children’s school bus driver “Ed” was the most cheerful pleasant man. You could tell he loved children the way he greeted each one and engaged them in conversation. He kept a jar of candy always full. The parents would chat with him whenever he picked up or dropped off our children. I was ready to invite to our home for dinner, that’s how well loved he was. One day over the summer, another parent called me to let me know Ed was in our local paper. Turned out Ed was a pedophile with millions of pornographic photos on his computer. As a mother of three young children, I was floored. Why hadn’t I picked up on this?That’s when I learned that things aren’t always the way they appear.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much for this story, Ilona. I’d go so far as to say things are nearly never as they appear.

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