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Being a Lover is His Profession

The reality of love is found in the secret of eternal divine presence. Love is an attribute of God, and being a lover is his profession. He himself is the lover, and he is of the same color as love.

~ Ruzbihan Baqli, 13th century Sufi Mystic


Mystics are lovers. Living in awareness of the divine presence, they know this presence as love. Some mystics call this presence God, and to them the secret of this presence is revealed by the feeling of love. When we experience love, the Divine is unveiled! God is always here—love just blows His cover.

A few years ago, Mike and I were flying to California, and on the last leg of the trip, we sat behind a young mother with a nursing baby in her lap and another little girl beside her. Throughout much of the two hour trip, the woman spoke in very harsh tones to her daughter. As I heard this scolding over and over, I felt sad and I wondered—what could the little one be doing that was so wrong—that could elicit such cold and punishing words?

Oh, but God is kind, always giving me an opportunity to learn and practice—always giving me a chance to invite the color of love back into our black and white/right or wrong worlds.

So, on the plane, I practiced. I grounded myself with slow, deep breaths, and prayed for my perception of the young mother to be healed. For as long as I was judging her, then I could not feel or offer any soothing. My perception of the little girl had to change, too, because to see her as a victim (however true that might be on some level) still disempowered her, villainized the mom and helped no one.

And then I extended peace to each of them. I swept the mother’s field with light and visualized all her pain draining away from her. Silently, I whispered to her, Be kinder to yourself so that you can be kinder to your little girl.  And I knew I meant the little one beside her as well as the one inside her. Soon I noticed the quiet in the row in front of us, and we all fell asleep.


Later, when we were debarking, the young mom let me unfold her stroller and lift the little girl up and set her in it. I was rewarded with a shy, beautiful, big-eyed smile.

And the smile—I am sure—was the same color as love.










(Photo of my daughter, age 4)

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