8. I feel safe with God
I feel safe with God,
For He knows me absolutely
And therefore has absolutely no
Whao, people are
Infinitely more demanding!
An Old Story. Some nineteen years ago, I was sitting with a friend having tea. He was recollecting his study about sufism and mysticism. He was bitching - "You know, I don't know why these hermits and sufis, having attained enlightenment on some lonely mountain top or on a deserted island, not return to society and serve society..." when suddenly he paused. Then his eyes attained a far-away gaze. His hands began to tremble before finally tears started to pour from his eyes. Quite taken by this sudden spectacle, I quickly inquired, "Hey... hey! Are you alright?!" He did not answer immediately, and I could see that he was trying his very best to control his emotions. After 5 awkward minutes he finally explained...
"When I said what I said, suddenly a door opened in my heart which showed me a little of the misery and sorrow that is the fate of many of us. And these mystics see this too and are often overcome with grief for humanity. Between the sorrow of man and the sweet solitude with God, is there really any choice? Why go back?"
Knowledge and Responsibility. I was deeply affected by what he said. But in hindsight, I think his conclusion was premature. For what is shared with me now is that there is no enlightenment without servanthood. And that to rise from station to spiritual station, you must also 'rise' in your station of servanthood. For the higher you achieve Divine Closeness, the more the Lord shares with you the secret cures of all ills which beset every Joe and Jane Doe. And I guess you are suppose to help heal the hurt of mankind, physically and spiritually. And in this work of servanthood to mankind, there is really no choice, because Imam Shafie wisely commented that if you attain knowledge but do not apply it, then it is tantamount to arrogance. So if you are curious to seek knowledge of God, you must be ready to roll up your sleeves and help people.
Embraces. So yes, people are demanding. People are quirky and opinionated in all sorts of irritating ways. But therein lies the nature of man. To hold someone you love closely to you, because really, that annoying and irritating person is in truth, yourself. And by befriending and healing someone, alhamdulillah, you heal and befriend your own self, yes?
|The Embrace of Love|