The End In The Beginning

(WARNING! LONG POST)

One of my favorite stories of all time goes like this...

"There was once a lover who had sighed for long years in separation from his beloved, and wasted in the fire of remoteness. From the rule of love, his heart was empty of patience, and his body weary of his spirit; he reckoned life without her as a mockery, and time consumed him away. How many a day he found no rest in longing for her; how many a night the pain of her kept him from sleep; his body was worn to a sigh, his heart’s wound had turned him to a cry of sorrow. He had given a thousand lives for one taste of the cup of her presence, but it availed him not. The doctors knew no cure for him, and companions avoided his company; yea, physicians have no medicine for one sick of love, unless the favor of the beloved one deliver him. 

At last, the tree of his longing yielded the fruit of despair, and the fire of his hope fell to ashes. Then one night he could live no more, and he went out of his house and made for the marketplace. On a sudden, a watchman followed after him. He broke into a run, with the watchman following; then other watchmen came together, and barred every passage to the weary one. And the wretched one cried from his heart, and ran here and there, and moaned to himself: 'Surely this watchman is my angel of death, following so fast upon me; or he is a tyrant of men, seeking to harm me.' His feet carried him on, the one bleeding with the arrow of love, and his heart lamented. Then he came to a garden wall, and with untold pain he scaled it, for it proved very high; and forgetting his life, he threw himself down to the garden. 

And there he beheld his beloved with a lamp in her hand, searching for a ring she had lost. When the heart-surrendered lover looked on his ravishing love, he drew a great breath and raised up his hands crying: 'Give glory to the watchman, and riches and long life. For the watchman was guiding this poor one bringing life to this wretched one!'

Indeed, his words were true, for he had found many a secret justice in this seeming tyranny of the watchman, and seen how many a mercy lay hid behind the veil.

Now if the lover could have looked ahead, he would have blessed the watchman at the start ...and he would have seen that tyranny as justice; but since the end was veiled to him, he moaned and made his plaint in the beginning." (Original source found in the Baha'i writings)

The "seeming tyranny" of the Coronavirus and the plunging economy are the "Watchmen" in our current stories. But there is always an end. And there are always hidden gifts in these chaotic tempests. Look beyond the viruses and the economic downfalls and see the end in the beginning. If you cast your gaze far you will find a gem waiting just over the horizon. 

1 comment

  • Carol McGrath
    Carol McGrath Glendale, Ca
    Thank you for the reminder. These are very hard times but also very unifying. I, for one am not only isolated but have suffered three heart attacks during the Fast period. The words in your blog give me a lot of hope. I look forward to reading what you give us next. All the best to you, Carol

    Thank you for the reminder. These are very hard times but also very unifying.
    I, for one am not only isolated but have suffered three heart attacks during the Fast period.
    The words in your blog give me a lot of hope.
    I look forward to reading what you give us next.
    All the best to you, Carol

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