If the friends and relatives are keeping themselves at a distance from thee, be thou not sad, for God is near to thee. Associate thou, as much as thou canst, with the relatives and strangers; display thou loving kindness; show thou forth the utmost patience and resignation. The more they oppose thee, shower thou upon them the greater justice and equity; the more they show hatred and opposition toward thee, challenge thou them with great truthfulness, friendship and reconciliation. Praise be to God, thou art near to the Kingdom of Abhá! Rest thou assured. With all my soul and spirit, I am thy companion at all moments. Know thou this of a certainty! (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 557-558)
I don’t know about you but I’m suffering COVID fatigue. I’m tired of being obedient to the government when all my friends, including Bahá’ís, are going about their business as usual. I’m tired of judging them and tired of judging myself for judging them. I hate that this pandemic has divided the world, at a time when we need to acknowledge our oneness more than ever. I hate that I’m engaging in the great divide and I hate the separation that’s growing between my friends and I because I choose to stay home and stay safe and keep everyone else safe around me. Am I a good Bahá’í or a screwed-up victim of trauma, needing obedience in order to stay safe? I think about these things and ask myself these questions a lot, especially as we head into a second lockdown.
So on Christmas day, despite of feeling sorry for myself, and with this quote in mind, I played secret Santa, putting candy canes at the doors of all the apartments in my building, and giving little presents to those who are least liked, so that everyone would get a little gift at a time when we all need gifts the most. I called people who were also alone on this day. I’m attempting to make peace with those whose choices differ from mine. It’s the best I can do today.
I’m truly blessed because I have the greatest gift of all, in my recognition of the Manifestation of God for this age, and as isolated, alone and lonely as I feel, I know of a certainty that God is with me and is my companion at all moments. Most of my neighbors don’t have that and are trying to get through the season without. Please God, help them feel your presence through my prayers and my puny efforts to be the person you want me to be. Please God, let me forgive my friends, and myself.
Knowing that God knows my limitations, loves me, forgives me and is patient with me, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness