Symbols of the world's religions



Bal Natu

There came a time when I was so overpowered by intense suffering that I stopped remembering You. But the moment I got a bit of relief I realized, through a flash in the heart, that You had been closer to me during that whole critical time than ever before. I cannot say how I knew this to be so, but I knew it nonetheless.

But what an irony! In spite of this knowledge, I felt a hollowness in my words of gratitude to You, a lack of whole-heartedness. All too quickly I became repossessed and consumed by the superficial charm and vanity of life. Now I found myself dealing with You like a worldly businessman, mechanically muttering formulae of thanks for services rendered. And I was disgusted with myself.

Then one day I stood before You sheepishly raising my gaze to meet Your eyes, and the smile of Your forgiveness wiped away all sense of compunction. Your compassion is incomprehensible. I asked You to fill my heart with the assurance that You have accepted me as I am, and that I am Yours.

You relate to each individual in incomparable ways. No two of Your responses are outwardly alike. But in spite of differences of expression, every one of Your actions is saturated with the infinite concern for each individual. It is this diversity of expression, this fathomless and unpredictable renewal, that makes it difficult for me, at times, to see the underlying flow of Your compassion in present situations.

Our meeting that day was very brief, and at its conclusion, You rose to Your feet enveloped by Your silent splendor. Then You spoke for the first time, in a tone of gentle sweetness, "Try to remember Me full-heartedly. Real repentance means absolute trust in My continual forgiving. Accept this: and the acceptance will blossom in your heart in glorious ways. Be of good cheer. Don't be despondent; never fear, I am always with you."

Again I raised my eyes to meet Your gaze, but this time I found that I could not. Your acceptance of me was overwhelming. Instead, I found my glance had focused on Your feet, and I wished I could wash them with the tears of my gratitude.

1993 © Sheriar Foundation


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