I had the good fortune to have met a very kind man from India several years ago.  Bro. Stanley was a missionary attending seminary in Dallas.

He worked in a carpenter shop while attending school. Stanley would cut animal figures out of wood. He would go on the hunt finding scraps of wood in the trash bins. He would then glue these small scraps together to make bigger scraps. Walnut, Teak, Padauk, Maple and Bubinga…it really didn’t matter to Stanley. Any (and all) wood wasn’t safe when Stanley was around.

Stanley would then cut crude and elementary animal shapes and crosses out of these treasures of scraps. And fish, and fish and fish. Did I mention fish? There were schools of pools brimming with fish!

Hours and hours of sanding would showcase the labor of his creativity. Weeks and weeks of patience. Months and months of gently working the wooden scraps into his menagerie.

Then one day a wealthy lady came into the shop and spotted Bro. Stanley’s work. She was so excited to have “found” Stanley’s artwork. She came to the shop several times and bought practically everything he made.

Bro. Stanley was as happy and excited as we were surprised.

Someone even coined a name for Bro. Stanley’s labor of creativity. We started calling it “A Stanley” to anybody that came into the shop. What fun. We would humor Bro. Stanley about becoming a Rock Star.

Bro. Stanley also created in me a journey into the word “namasta”. He always greeted me with the word namasta. I in turn would greet him with this same word only partially understanding its meaning. We would leave the shop by saying namasta to each other.

I just recently heard a little more of the meaning and background of namasta. It is “I salute the Divine in you.”  I also learned that you have to greet yourself with namasta before you can sincerely greet the other person with namasta.

Bro. Stanley had a passion to move back to India. He left here “A little Stanley” in all of us when he went back to India.

Bro. Stanley, namasta.

Peace.

-gary-

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