“Bahá'u'lláh once compared the coloured people to the black pupil of the eye surrounded by the white. In this black pupil you see the reflection of that which is before it, and through it the light of the Spirit shines forth. In the sight of God colour makes no difference at all, He looks at the hearts of men. That which God desires from men is the heart...”


Sudden Bliss:   On Love, Surrender and Access to the Room


 

Love Letter #4--

A Response 

  

First chill,  then stupor, then the letting go…—Emily Dickerson

  

The same Pen that inspires your words

            Have taken hold of my hand

                         And like yours, now moves at His bidding…

How else would I explain

This first main course

Of what is commonly called bliss?

 

Though I suspect that bliss

Is not that common, else this would

Not have been my first encounter

 

My Dear, it is as though

Each letter of each word You wrote

                         Was crafted to evoke

                                     A response in my being

 

For nothing prior to these words

        Had resulted in my knowing…

                My knowing the extent of my Father’s love

                     And all that He will do

                    To cheer my heart, to gladden my bosom     
                
                                           
To allow me a taste of what heaven

                                                        Must be like in that alternative 

                                                                         World of the Spirit.                                                                                                                  

Last week when we spoke and I told you 

            Of your Father’s trickery

                         How he would stoop so low    

                                     As to bring my best friend

(in all of Columbia on Macon Street)

To the Reflections Gathering

                                                           To lure me deeper into the net

                         Told you how he wanted more than my time

                                     Was surely after some grander design.

My heart--I had surmised!

 

And now He brings me this –

Letter…

 

Lest you wonder at the delayed response

Please know that I had attempted to write you back

            Immediately after receiving this flame-red fire that sped       

                         Countless miles over the Internet

                                     No doubt shutting weaker circuits down.

                                               

But instead I fell into a deep sleep—

And in retrospect I sense that

That altered state served me well and proved

                         The quickest way to connect to the world

Of the invisible, which is where, I think

Your message originated.

 

Then too, the delay might have stemmed

From my heart’s attempt to shut down the brain

                         As it sometimes does when it knows

Knows a feat is not possible--

            Like a built in defense mechanism

It chooses to experience its own ecstasy

                             And share it not with the mind or the pen

                                   Much like that first sip of water

                                     After 4.7 biblical days in the desert                   

                                          The moisture must be used

                                                To refresh the parts

                                                     Which are most vital    

                                                        To the sustaining of a dying life.

 

Have I lost you yet?

If so, it is only because I will no doubt

            Not be able to adequately express

                         What God has wrought

                                     On this day, on this soul--

                                                 A feeling unlike any ever known.

 

The Blue Room

 

So let me instead leave any attempt at half baked analogies

            And tell you a story, which you may or may not have heard before,

                         Begging your indulgence, if the former.


While serving in Ghana I had a dream.

And though I cannot recollect all the details now,

            I do remember the symbolism.

I had entered a large house, a nice house

            With rooms everywhere I turned.

And a few of the Counsellors were there

            And some of their ABMs and assistants           

                         And even some common folk—like me.

They were scattered about and I could sense

            Their happiness, smiles 

                         And hear their laughter.

One of these souls came up to me as I wandered around          

            The place--this mansion-- and as my eyes

                         Surveyed the particular room I was in,

                                     She asked somewhat jovially:

                                            “What color would you like the room to be?”

And I immediately went into a defensive mode – thinking:

            ‘How dare you assume

                         That I even want a room.’

                                And to boldly ask me

                             What color I preferred the room to be

                                     Which also implied that she had already presumed

                                       I would choose to live in a home

                                                    That I was--was just --VISITING.

 

So in response I said, in no uncertain terms,

‘You can paint the room whatever color you like .. it is not my room.’

And though I felt some dis-ease after the words left my tongue,

my mind quickly jumped in to soothe me with its logic.

‘Lo, you have just stumbled upon this house so you

are right to decline a room here. Even though it is a

VERY NICE HOUSE.”

 

And subconsciously I must also have been thinking,

“A room as nice as this… can you imagine the rent

                                              for just one night of bliss?”  

As I awakened from the dream in a cold sweat,

At that moment I must have concluded that though

I was in another country and feeling

         Closer and closer to my Lord,

               More and more each day, I wasn’t really sure

                       I wanted to be “held down”

                             Toiling in the fields, non stop, day by day

                                   For a room, I hadn’t even decided

                                                          That I could afford.

 

Documenting the Miracle


Stroll up now to  May 2005—

Everyday I began my morning listening to prayers and meditations,

            Holy words from three or four of the religious traditions—

             You know, Words from Muhammad, the Bhagavad-Gita, 

the Bible and

                                 Even some of those Bahá'í Teachings

For I had concluded I needed such words to calm my spirit

       Which of late seemed reluctant

               To accept its own demise

                      In my self imposed spiritual exile.

                               My spirit now dying to be fed

                                 As it thirsted relentlessly for the sustaining bread.

 

On the CD, in one of the Psalms meditations, there

Was a woman who spoke with a stern and forceful voice

Who obviously was trying to “leave the room” like me

            And she eventually comes to recognize

                         That it is fruitless to try to get away,

                         As she finds that “the room” is everywhere.


“Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? And from Thy presence

 whither shall I flee? If I go up into heaven, Thou art there;

if I go down into hades, Thou art present there. If I take

up my wings toward the dawn, and make mine abode

in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall Thy hand

guide me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. … For darkness

will not be darkness with Thee, and night shall be bright

as the day…”

 

Realizing myself that the agony I felt

            From the separation from my Father

                         Was greater than the price

                                     I would have to pay for

                                                 Any room He placed me in…

                                                             I surrendered – and prayed.

 

Not the “on your knees” kind of prayer

            Cause when your bed is literally

            A three inch foam mattress on the floor, you just sit

                         And chat when you seek communion with your Lord.

                                     (Yeah, I got it like that.)

Instead it was the kind of meditation

            One pursues like Brother Lawrence does

                         In “The Practice of the Presence of God”

                                     As I sought peace in a life of turmoil.

 

 

 

A Letter to the Counsellors

As my heart never left the Continent

            Or the work I left there

                         Or the remembrance of the final

                                 Luncheon I had with Auntie Bea (alias C. Asare)…

                                            I pressed on--

And so, I telephoned you on my cell, and you steered

Me to the Internet to check out the Virgin Islands, and as I did

I found an NGO in, of all places, the capital city of Ghana.

It seemed they may have a need for a caseworker and they

Have promised to contact me in a fortnight.

What the heck is a fortnight?

 

And The Release Came… 

The funny thing about surrender is

That you let go of all attachments—

Though my heart still says Ghana

I have to admit that for the first time

I am no longer fixated on it –

              My wants subjugated finally

                   To the beckoning of my Father

                     And  to this new peace I say “Hallelujah!”

                                                           a nd Glory Be to God!

 

The Raleigh (NC) Center needs someone to create

 

and coordinate getting books and brochures and other

teaching materials into the hands of the believers.

And as an “A Cluster” community, there is an array of

core activities that a servant might get involved in.

So    As my mind shifts from the erroneous belief that

I h  I have to be out of the country to summon His presence,

I n I now realize He will let me know when, where,

and  and how I am to serve if only I will OPEN THE DOOR 

TO  TO MY HEART and allow

            His refreshing breezes  

             to waft over my every effort     

                      in His path –

I fe   I fear my dear this letter must be tiring you,

and so I shall end it soon for where the time has gone

   God only knows.

But, before I go, I want to tell you

That your Father has earned His Title as Master Schemer

For it would take a Master to pull off this one

To bring this maidservant into the fold --

 

And you can be very proud that He trusts

   You enough to be the conduit

Of His electrifying presence

In my life

In your own.

And I And I feel equally blessed that

            I will not have to point you to the “imbedded message”

In my last correspondence

As the words expressed in your

Letter has reached more than

The eyes of this would be

Handmaiden.

Has pierced the opening in my

            Lifelong wound

                         And healed it in an instant--

                                     Such phenomena—as you know—

Being a characteristic   

                                                             Of the spiritual state of bliss.

                                   

(And does this mean I owe you?)

 

For finally I know

            His love through

                         The letter He wrote me

                                                 Through you--

 

                         And I am grateful you are

                                     At His bidding 

                                                 Else at this moment

                                                             I would still be guessing

                                                                         That He loved me

                                                                            And not really know.

 

And the kicker, still, is that I did not know that I didn’t know.

 

The last thing I want to say is that

            If I could be assured that the bliss of this day

            Would be with me throughout all eternity

            Then I would know my Father would

            Never be disappointed in me, not ever again

            As my heart soars on the wings of His remembrance.

But nonetheless, because it is so new,

Might I request this one thing of you---

 

It is a thing that you and Carol and Dor have done

throughout my ups and my downs,

Throughout my successes and failures,

when I was well enough to answer your emails

And even when I could not bring myself to…

(Please don’t mind the stains on the page, it’s just a part of letting go) 

 

As I was saying…

You’ve done it when the treads of my life

Almost ran bare, and barely able to

Support the dead weight of a

Soul disconnected –

 

And lest I forget any of this—

            I am hereby appointing each of you

            Coordinatrixes—and your only duty

            Should you accept this task,

            Is to remind me of this day.

             (And of course to take care of the infamous June celebrations)

This “Thank you” from the bottom of  my heart

Is surpassed only by

     My love for the gift God gave to me

        when he placed the three of you in my Path

           -- a path of bonified, unconsecrated, but loving resistance.

 

God is Most Glorious!

Always,

Lo

 

P.S. I.  If you could remember also to mention to Him in your 
next conversation – maybe you could say just in passing:

“By the way Father, Lo has just informed me that she wants 
her room painted sky blue.” 

P.S. II. And if my Father flinches in the least or acts as though 
he does not recognize the name -–tell him instead that I am just 
a beggar you noticed kneeling outside the door, with a sign in 
the left hand that read:

Will work for a glance 

 

Will toil for a chance 

 

Will forgo all love, pleasure, hate 

 

      To be allowed to kiss the dust 

 

           Not atop, but beneath His feet. 

 


Copyright 2005 Loretta Crosby. All Rights Reserved.

 
9 Love Letters Series
Love Letter #2: Vying
Love Letter #4: Bliss--9 Love Letters
Love Letter #5: Souls Alighting His Path
Love Letter #7: Mirror Image
Love Letter #8: Running from DK
Love Letter #9: A Wail of the Chance

 

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