God’s Will: Greater Unity, Greater Love

While trying to process the U.S. presidential election results, I picked up a book of Hafiz poems. I closed my eyes, asked for what I needed to know, and opened at a random page.

Here’s what I got. If you’re like me, you’ll love the beginning and want to throw this blog across the room somewhere in the middle. Just keep reading.

There Could Be Holy Fallout

We are often in battle.
So often defending every side of the fort,
It may seem, all alone.

Sit down, my dear,
Take a few deep breaths,
Think about a loyal friend.
Where is your music,
Your pet, a brush?

Surely one who has lasted as long as you
Knows some avenue or place inside
That can give a sweet respite.

If you cannot slay your panic,
Then say within
As convincingly as you can,
“It is all God’s will!”

Now pick up your life again.
Let whatever is out there
Come charging in,

Laugh and spit into the air,
There could be holy fallout.

Throw those ladders like tiny match sticks
With “just” phantoms upon them
Who might be trying to scale your heart.

Your love has an eloquent tone.
The sky and I want to hear it!

If you still feel helpless
Give our battle cry again

Hafiz
Has shouted it a myriad times,

“It is all,
It is all the Beloved’s will!”

What is that luminous rain I see
All around you in the future

Sweeping in from the east plain?

It looks like, O it looks like
Holy fallout

Filling your mouth and palms
With Joy!

Let’s talk about God’s will for a minute because that was the part that made me think, you have got to be kidding, except in slightly stronger language. I tend to think about God’s will in human dimensions, which in election terms would translate to God picked a certain candidate to win. Given that political systems rarely if ever reflect the kind of justice that wisdom traditions describe—regardless of which group is in power—I think it’s safe to say this can’t possibly be what God’s will means.

This poem still speaks to us almost 700 years after it was written because God’s will is always the same. It is self-emptying love, as Richard Rohr would say, the manifestation of love in space and time. We are manifestations of that love, all of us—the people we agree and disagree with, the ones who love us and who hate us, the animals, insects, plants, planets, black holes, etc. “It is all the Beloved’s will!”

Hafiz isn’t recommending submission to situations that injure our hearts and souls. He is urging us to get a wider perspective, to remember that we are all in this together and that there is something larger than human choices and actions moving in and through creation. We can pick any issue we want to divide ourselves over, but in the end it won’t work.

God wills ever greater unity, ever greater love. That’s what we, collectively, are growing toward. We don’t have any choice. That’s what God does, and all of us are manifestations of God.

If we can get clear on this—individually and together—Hafiz tells us, and I agree, that our destination is joy. Bring on the holy fallout.

5 thoughts on “God’s Will: Greater Unity, Greater Love

  1. Perhaps this is God’s will in that it will motivate people to action. If my party is in power, I trust that someone else will make happen what I want to happen. If someone I have almost zero faith in is in power, I take more responsibility for making positive change.

  2. Thank you, Rachel!
    I had a similar experience – Many of those around me have said we should wait and see what will happen, give the man a chance. But I see so much hatred, and anger, and violence against “the other,” against anyone somehow perceived as different from oneself. I felt like waiting so see was not the answer, and was, instead, a giving in, a form of giving up. So I meditated on it – why is this happening, what, if anything, can I do now? Sometime in the darkness came a hint of light, a small glow, flickering, growing brighter, and in the center I began to discern words – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    Love is not passive – Love is active – Love is standing up to the wrongs, protecting those who cannot protect themselves, speaking up against dishonor, and speaking out for truth. Love is peaceful, and it is strong. I, and all of us who wish to push back against the darkness, must stand up and actively embody love, speak out for love, connect our love together so that it becomes a binding force. Some of us will do this in big ways, visible to many, others of us will do it in little ways – a smile to someone who is hurting, picking up something dropped by a stranger and returning it to them, paying for a stranger’s coffee. We must not cower and hide and hope something will change or that things aren’t as bad as we think they might be. We must get out of our comfort zone, we must speak love when another speaks hate, we must reach out to each other and give compassion. To push away darkness, one only needs to light a single candle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s