Saturday, January 21, 2006

In the Presence of Love

[DIVINE LOVE] is my shepherd; I shall not want.
[LOVE] maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
[LOVE] leadeth me beside the still waters.
[LOVE] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense]:
[Love] leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for [LOVE] is with me;
[LOVE's]rod and [LOVE'S] staff they comfort me.
[LOVE] prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
[LOVE] anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [LOVE] for ever. (PSALM 23 as Adapted by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health)
Yesterday morning I met an old college friend at the bus stop. It turned out she was waiting for the same bus I was waiting for. She was on her way to work. She said she was late for work but she wasn't bothered. She was sick of working for other people.

On route, I told her I had recently made contact with another college friend who now lives in Australia. I shared with her my experiences in Australia. I said I intend to go backpacking in Australia again as it is a wonderful country. She said she couldn't imagine going travelling on her own, especially in a country where she doesn't know anyone. She said she would have no problem travelling in America as she has friends she could call if she got into trouble. I said I have had lots of wonderful adventures on my own. I told her it helps that I believe in God and God is Love; and Love is everywhere. Sometimes, when you are not aware of this love life can seem scary.

I told her about how when I used to share a house with some girls, the girls were scared to walk down a local alleyway late at night. Two of my flat mates had been mugged on that same alley. I still used to walk down the alley late at night as it was a shortcut, and I was not scared.

"Surely, you should have listened to your flatmates who had been attacked," my friend said.

"I only listened to what I knew to be true, that God's love is ever present, and Love doesn't hurt."

"I think I understand where you're coming from," she said. "But surely, Love gives you the wisdom to know when to walk down a dark alley late at night, particularly when you've heard of people being attacked on the same alleyway?"

"That's not how I see it. There's no point me knowing God's love in theory without testing it. Don't get me wrong, I don't deliberately set out to test God's love, but it was a toss between using the alley and arriving home in a few minutes, or using the scenic route and taking ages. Why should I go round the houses when I can trust that God's love is ever present?" I said.

"Maybe, God arranged for you to walk in the alley at a time when no one was around."

"All I know is that God's love is ever present. Love can even change one's intention from attack to love so all is in harmony."

"You have to be careful, you know. Just because you believe in Love doesn't mean you have to put yourself at risk."

"The way I see it, Love is all there is. You can't have fear and love in the same space. Either you believe in fear, or you believe in love; not both."

Like I said, I don't set out to put myself in difficult situations for the sake of proving love's presence. There is no need to. There are only difficult situations if you think there are. To see one road as safe and another as unsafe is opening oneself to being attacked. With that kind of thinking, you could be attacked anywhere, even in places others consider safe. I would rather take my chances in Love.

Later in the evening when I was coming back home on the bus, three lads sat in front of me. One had his music blaring away. I was in no mood to listen to music; beside, it sounded like a lot of noise. I decided that instead of resisting the music I would simply accept the truth of what is: Love is all there is. I went back to the book I was reading. The music was still blaring away. Then I peeked at one of the lads facing me. He was the spitting image of Matt Damon, one of my favourite actors. When the lad smiled he looked so much like him. Why hadn't I noticed this before? Now I could see that Matt and his friends were having fun listening to their music. They even played a few songs I liked. They also kept me company for the rest of my journey.

Love is truly all there is. All I have to do is constantly remember Love's presence, and stay open to the limitless ways love is being.

With love,