Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

January 20, 2004

Real protection

Yesterday, Bill Allmart, Husayn's Dad, quoted (on his weblog) the words of Abdu'l-Baha from the Baha'i Writings and it was just what I needed to hear. There was a long passage about how when people die, they go to a spiritual world that is marvelous and wonderful and continue their life, only on a spiritual plane, and how this can be a solace to those left behind on this earth and about God's sovereignty and mysterious reasons for calamities occuring. The last sentence, however, was for my own heart. It was, "If God protects, nothing can imperil man's safety; and if it be not His will to safeguard, no amount of preparation and precaution will avail." (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 46) The context of this quote in Bill Allmart's weblog was trying to find words to describe his wife's flight to the spiritual plane of existence. I found my own solace in Abdu'l-Baha's words too.

The quote reminds me that I am not ultimately in control of my future safety or the safety of other people. It's scary, but it's great to have a clear boundary and division of duties. I am supposed to love and serve God and humanity, obey His laws, and work hard to keep growing and changing, and do what I can to protect my children, etc. and he will be in charge of the big stuff like the future and people's life spans and tests. It also gave me a different perspective on the movie I saw last night. When I saw violence deaths in that movie, I didn't think, 'oh, that person gets to go on to the spiritual world, isn't that bittersweet'. There was just enough time to get horrified, and then it was on to the next scene for more of the same. I think I need to take a break from seeing violent movies. yeah, I think that would be good.

There's another quote that this one reminds me of, this one from Baha'u'llah (Who is The Comforter, also The Glory of God):

"The essence of true safety is to observe silence, to look at the end of things and to renounce the world" (Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 156)

and in another context:

"The fifth Taraz concerneth the protection and preservation of the stations of God's servants. One should not ignore the truth of any matter, rather should one give expression to that which is right and true." (Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 38)

It seems that there are many different aspects of protection and safety. Consider this one too:

"In truth, religion is a radiant light and an impregnable stronghold for the protection and welfare of the peoples of the world, for the fear of God impelleth man to hold fast to that which is good, and shun all evil. Should the lamp of religion be obscured, chaos and confusion will ensue, and the lights of fairness and justice, of tranquillity and peace cease to shine. Unto this will bear witness every man of true understanding." (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 125)

Back to Cold Mountain, I was talking to Billy about it, and he reminded me that the Civil War that it was the crisis that created the victory of the U.S. really becoming a country instead of a bunch of loosely-held-together states. There's a birth from death.

Posted by Bahiyyih at January 20, 2004 02:34 PM

I just finished the webble, and am touched and delighted that you are sharing so much of your heart and thoughts. Thank you, Bahiyyih, for being you . . . and allowing even more vulnerability in your life. Speaking of protection, it always helps me to think about the Renee Passerow video about the next world. She describes so clearly the fact that we are all surrounded by unconditional love at all times. Easy to forget, or hard to remember. I think the biggest thing I've learned about protection over the years is that sometimes, we learn the most from the things that hurt the worst. So what is protection? Absence of hurt? Or a building up of compassion? Or something else?

Posted by: Susan Engle at January 20, 2004 07:33 PM

I think protection is submitting your will to God and being willing to be detached from the pains of this earthly existence, even when they are unbearable and excruciating, knowing that they will pass away, even, as Amy said, if it takes getting to the next world to heal them. Thank you both for your helpful comments.

Posted by: Bahiyyih at January 21, 2004 08:57 PM