This evening I heard a car accident outside. I heard the impact. I heard the screams, the gasps, the cries, and the shouts. I called out to God.
Dear God, help him, soothe him, hold him. Whether he stays here or goes, please let him know he is held in Your love. I leaned out the window and prayed.
I had a death/near-death experience once. I was very scared. I kept losing consciousness. Finally, slipping away, I gently entreated, “God, please hold me.” I didn’t know Who/What God was, but I knew I needed Him/Her. What followed was a state of loving grace, compared to none I had or have ever felt. It seemed as though I had been enveloped in a sea of Love so great, there was no fear, no worry, all was perfect. I did not mind that I might go. I was not only, “at peace,” I was ecstatic, in total bliss, in complete trust.
We place so much importance on this life here on Earth, which, compared to the spiritual realms, the Baha’i teachings describe as a dust heap:
When the human soul soareth out of this transient heap of dust and riseth into the world of God, then veils will fall away, and verities will come to light, and all things unknown before will be made clear, and hidden truths be understood. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha
If only we could live, knowing that our life here is for a very specific reason – to grow spiritually – we would make the most of our limited time, our specific challenges, and not fear the end of our lives on Earth so much. Perhaps we would even be more effective because we would not be afraid to die … or, die to this world and be born into the realm of love. Abdu’l-Baha once said “Through his ignorance man fears death, but the death he shrinks from is imaginary and absolutely unreal; it is only human imagination.” – The Promulgation of Universal Peace
You can hear Christina Frith’s song God Bless the Children Who Have Died here:
So, what about that man who was hit by a car this evening? Either he is still here and he has a very specific experience of recovery and healing in store, or, he has left this plane of existence and is now experiencing the spiritual world of grace and beauty. Maybe he is lying in the hospital, living on machines, and many lives surrounding his will be forever affected. Maybe he has died, and the young man driving the car that hit him will have to reconcile that he contributed to the loss of another person’s life. Maybe the family of the man will blame him. Maybe it wasn’t his fault. Maybe they will all grow spiritually from it. Maybe they will fall to their knees and ask for help like I did. Maybe they will be wrapped in love and dedicate their lives to that love forevermore, as Abdu’l-Baha once promised to a mother who lost a child:
That beloved child addresseth thee from the hidden world: O thou kind Mother, thank divine Providence that I have been freed from a small and gloomy cage and, like the birds of the meadows, have soared to the divine world – a world which is spacious, illumined, and ever gay and jubilant. Therefore, lament not, O Mother, and be not grieved; I am not of the lost, nor have I been obliterated and destroyed. I have shaken off the mortal form and have raised my banner in this spiritual world. Following this separation is everlasting companionship. Thou shalt find me in the heaven of the Lord, immersed in an ocean of light. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha
There will be tears. There will be hurting. There will be wishing and longing. There will be many things. Maybe there will be trust.
I cried. I couldn’t say why. I felt a lot. I wanted to run down and hug the boy driving the car. I felt like a mother. I wanted to say to the policemen, “don’t forget, they are hurting too. Please also treat them with care.” Then I thought of how crazy that would be. I thought of the police saying, “Lady, who are you? Do you know these young men?” I would say, “No, but I know they are children, and that means they need support and care.” I can imagine all sorts of scenarios like this one.
I realize that I have many spiritual challenges to make peace with, among them: I can’t save everybody. Also, I want to make sure, where I can, that children are heard and seen and cared for, and honored, even when they become adults.
I will die. I am not afraid to die. I have so much work to do before I go. Or, I think I do. Perhaps one of my jobs is to bring a little of the love I felt when I got to be held by something much greater than myself that night. Maybe that’s why I cried. Maybe those tears are a trickling of love, spilling through, for all the souls who hurt on this night.