To My Readers:
When I first heard of the story of Layla and Majnun, it reminded me of Romeo and Juliet. It is a challenging story but it is also a story of sacrificing oneself for love. It is a story of faith and devotion to another. You can find it on Wikipedia and I have quoted a brief synopsis of one of the versions below.
…”Another variation on the tale tells of Layla and Majnun meeting in school. Majnun fell in love with Layla and was captivated by her. The school master would beat Majnun for paying attention to Layla instead of his school work. However, upon some sort of magic, whenever Majnun was beaten, Layla would bleed for his wounds. The families learnt of this strange magic and began to feud, preventing Layla and Majnun from seeing each other. They meet again later in their youth and Majnun wishes to marry Layla. Layla’s brother, Tabrez, would not let her shame the family name by marrying Majnun. Tabrez and Majnun quarreled and, stricken with madness over Layla, Majnun murdered Tabrez. Word reached the village and Majnun was arrested. He was sentenced to be stoned to death by the villagers. Layla could not bear it and agreed to marry another man if Majnun would be kept safe from harm in exile. Her terms were accepted and Layla got married, but her heart still longed for Majnun. Hearing this, Layla’s husband rode with his men into the desert to find Majnun. Upon finding him, Layla’s husband challenged Majnun to the death. The instant her husband’s sword pierced Majnun’s heart, Layla collapsed in her home. Layla and Majnun were buried next to each other as her husband and their fathers prayed to their afterlife. Myth has it that Layla and Majnun met again in heaven, where they loved forever.”
As a person who has worked in a variety of human service positions, I wondered how God would respond to such a tale. I’ve imagined a possible exchange below.
I understand that you have written to the Rev. who is busy avoiding her responsibilities. She is trying to ferret out information and is dangerously close to crossing boundaries she knows she can’t. I tried to break into her thoughts, and help her to reconsider such behavior. She is hiding behind the lame excuse that she could better assist if she had all the information to help someone that they aren’t ready to share. I keep trying to remind her that she doesn’t need to be perfect or control the universe, but she so wants to help others. She is unable, at this time to display any kind of moral fortitude and is bogged down in her own incoming crisis of faith. (Clergy are all too human, too.)
Sadly, today I find her weak and way too curious about stuff that she should know she has no business rooting around in. I’m trying to be understanding with her because she started back on her diet today, and there are all manner of tasty goodies that have not been cleared from her home. Perhaps when you reply you can give her a gentle talking to. Under other circumstances I find her easy to talk with but I do know I tend to expect more from clergy as they invoke my name all too frequently. She needs her space but she also needs to toe the line.
Since I’m all knowing I figured I’d help her and you by responding to your e-mail. Besides, I know you’ve felt estranged from me over the years and I want you to know that even when you felt farthest from me and when your life was at its worst I was always watching over you. I knew you were strong, but your letter asking the Rev. for help because you have lost your faith confirms your strength and capacity to believe in the best parts of humanity (and me) , even when so many people have broken your spirit. You wondered if your letter about these matters is well written. You’ve asked the Rev. for advice and perspective.
All your life, whether you know it or not you have been working on becoming the tremendous woman that you are. I’ve watched in wonder at your growth over the past year. Whether you know it or not, you’ve taken leaps and bounds with seeming ease and with great grace. You risked your heart. Others betrayed you even as you recognize your risk and sacrifice for love is making you whole. I always knew you were one of my most brilliant children, a star that lights up the lives of so many. No matter how harsh things have been for you, I can see by this letter that you haven’t allowed disappointment and experience to harden your heart. On the contrary, you’ve let it soften you and open you to the teachings contained in the good and the bad that you have encountered.
Many are never able to incorporate this paradoxical lesson into their lives. This alone should have you walking on clouds for a long time.
Perhaps the greatest strength of your letter is your ability to explain the purpose, express your needs and yet create no obligation. This is a gift of redemption and grace that you give to others, even when your heart is broken.
These words speak of my Holy Spirit being alive in the world through your thoughts and words and actions. I know you have felt at times that you could not find me, but I am present in your embodiment. You, and others like you are reminders that my spirit lives in the world whether I am called Buddha, Allah or God. You are blessed my dear child and you are a blessing. The only change I’ve made to your letter is through the miracle of spell check which suggests that over-analyze is hyphenated. Otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing.
Eternally Yours- if you want to find me,
P.S. I’m sure the Rev. will be back in touch soon. Have faith in her, I do.