Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Toddler with endless energy+father ravenous from a day of fasting, fighting a cold, and exhausted from a full day of work=trouble.
That was the lesson of the day as I gritted my teeth through the last hour of the Fast. My son, blissfully unaware of his father's physical and mental state engaged in behaviors that under other circumstances would have been cute or even a little funny. Yesterday at 4:45pm they were not. Not at all.
It made me think about how one's spirit can be impacted when the mind and body are being pushed to the limits of their endurance. It took super-conscious effort for me to respond to him like a Baha'i dad should. By God's grace we both got through that perilous hour and eventually his mom came home to relieve me of duty for a bit.
Come to think of it, the entire day was similar to that last hour. I found myself having to exercise a level of nurturing, compassion, and patience with co-workers that I used to believe should only be reserved for human beings under five. Maybe I've been wrong about that. Maybe we all need that kind of love sometimes. Some of us may even need it seven hours a day, five days a week!
"For each of the creatures is a sign of God, and it was by the grace of the Lord and His power that each did step into the world; therefore they are not strangers, but in the family; not aliens, but friends, and to be treated as such. Wherefore must the loved ones of God associate in affectionate fellowship with stranger and friend alike, showing forth to all the utmost loving-kindness, disregarding the degree of their capacity, never asking whether they deserve to be loved. In every instance let the friends be considerate and infinitely kind." (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 24)
Guess the Fast is working, huh?
"Well is it with you, as you have followed the Law of God and arisen to observe the Fast during these blessed days, for this physical fast is a symbol of the spiritual fast. This Fast leadeth to the cleansing of the soul from all selfish desires, the acquisition of spiritual attributes, attraction to the breezes of the All-Merciful, and enkindlement with the fire of divine love." (Compilations, The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting)