Grateful this week for this guest post from author
My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.
~ The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh
How can a painful or tragic event be “light and mercy”?
It may help to see the attributes of God more like diamonds with infinite facets as opposed to a one- or two-dimensional mirror. Some facets are developed in times of “calamity” or times of “fire and vengeance”. Some facets are developed in happy times, some are developed in sad times, times of tragedy involving great pain.
It is possible to survive painful events, but not meaningless ones. Although a full understanding of why these events happen may not be possible in the present moment, why allow that to veil us from the experience of that moment?
Instead, we can take what we don’t understand and place it in the hands of God and concentrate our efforts in seeing every moment of our life as a priceless, irreplaceable opportunity to discover the boundless love and compassion that live in our heart.
The incredible irony of learning to develop facets of our inner diamonds during painful events instead of shouting “why me?” is that the choice to develop those gems is the best chance we have of escaping the prison of the painful moment and actually answering the “why me?” question — effectively.
It seems that this process of learning and acquiring the attributes of God, whatever the type of experience it is that offers us the opportunity, has relevance to the next stage of our journey, which entails traversing purely spiritual worlds.
Here is my “why me?” answer, but I emphasize that it’s strictly the answer I received when I personally asked the inner question. What if in this world I could only see one color of the spectrum, such as the color blue? I would not see a complete vision of the world in which I live, and that would have a severe impact on the quality of my life.
In the next world the equivalent of our spiritual senses are the attributes of God. If we only developed the facets of these attributes in happy times, we would be unable to fully discern the world beyond because we would not have fully developed our spiritual senses to be aware of all that our surroundings include. In the next world, the attributes of God become our spiritual senses. Love, justice, mercy become our eyes and ears.
These qualities have facets of both giving and receiving. Thus, a wide variety of experience – including the painful and difficult — that offers the contrast that helps us build our capacities for both giving and receiving is indispensable if we are to fully develop any attribute.
And it is vital if, as souls, we are to acquire a fuller range and spectrum of them.
Co-authors Ron Tomanio, Diane Iverson, and Phyllis Ring explore these and related themes in With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past When We Can Investigate Reality?
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