Badthings, Part 3
IF GOD IS EVERYWHERE, WHY CAN'T WE SEE HIM?
But not all youngsters. Just the other day there was a youngster here who was sitting by my side. It seemed she wanted to ask me something but was too shy. When I turned to her and said, "Is there anything you want to ask?" she just looked down and shook her head, but I had the feeling that there was something on her mind. So when everyone went out for lunch I stayed behind and asked her again if there was something she wanted to ask, and she said, "Eruch, if God is everywhere, why can't we see Him?"
Now, what to say? This was a good question, and I hadn't given it any thought before then. What should I tell her? And she was very serious, I couldn't just say something lightly, she really wanted to know. So Baba came to my rescue and made me say, "It is because He is infinitely compassionate."
"What do you mean? How can you say He is compassionate when I want to see Baba and I don't see Him?"
I said, "Yes, that is true, but do you really want to see Him? When you really want to see Him, you will, but until then it would be an intrusion on His part. And because He is compassionate, He does not want to intrude on your privacy."
"Oh yes, I want to see Him more than anything else in the world," she replied. "How would it be an intrusion?"
"Well, just think," I said. "Think about all those times when perhaps you are doing something you really should not be doing. Let us say your parents have some toffees — do you like toffee?" and she said yes, so I said, "What if your parents had some in a jar and you are tempted to take one? What do you do? Do you take one when your parents are in the room?"
"Oh no," she said, "I wait until no one is around, when no one can see me, and then I take one."
"And what," I asked, "if just at that moment Baba were to appear, what then, how would you feel?"
"I would feel embarrassed," she said.
"That is what I mean," I replied. "You would feel uncomfortable, it would be an intrusion on Baba's part to interfere with your privacy at that moment. And throughout the day we are doing things and thinking things which we really would not feel comfortable doing in Baba's presence.
"I may be sitting here thinking how nice it would be to see Baba, I may be longing to see Him, but the very next moment some unworthy thought passes through my mind and if Baba were to appear just then I would feel very embarrassed. So, out of compassion, Baba restrains Himself.
"Actually He is most anxious to reveal Himself. He is more anxious to let you see Him than you are to see Him, but He restrains Himself out of compassion for you, and for all of us, because He knows we do not really want to see Him. Or rather we want to see Him, but only for a moment or two, we do not really want His company, until we want to see Him more than we want to snitch that toffee, or indulge some unworthy thought, until then, in His infinite compassion, He withholds from us that sight."
This is what I told that little one. Whether it satisfied her or not I don't know. But afterwards I thought, that was a good figure Baba had given me. And that is what I mean when I say we learn so much from the children. I had never thought about this before, but because of that little one's question, Baba gave me this figure. Do you like it? What do you think?
THAT'S HOW IT WAS, pp. 27-28
1995 © Eruch Jessawala