As Bahá’ís we know that the purpose of our lives is to know and worship God:
I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. (Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 3)
So it only stands to reason that He wants to be our best lover.
In the Long Healing Prayer, one of the names of God we call on is the “Best Lover”. The more I say this prayer and reflect on this image, the more it makes sense!
The Hidden Words are full of quotes about the love He has for us.
In them we see again this desire for God to be our Lover.
I have breathed within thee a breath of My own Spirit, that thou mayest be My lover. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 19)
God knew His love for us before we were born; which is why He created us; engraved on us His image and then let us see His beauty:
Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 3)
He wants us to love Him so that He can fill our souls with the spirit of love:
I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 4)
If we don’t love Him, His love for us can’t reach us:
Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 5)
The paradise we’re looking for comes from God’s love; and our home is reunion with Him. This is our destiny!
Thy Paradise is My love; thy heavenly home, reunion with Me. Enter therein and tarry not. This is that which hath been destined for thee in Our kingdom above and Our exalted dominion. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 6)
We often look to others to fill the hole in our soul, but our soul wants to be loved by God. He wants us to love him above everyone and everything else:
I desire to be loved alone and above all that is. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 8)
God wants us to look to Him for our light and radiance; and nowhere else:
Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 11)
We often look to other people to help us feel safe, but our only stronghold is with God. If we turn to His love we’ll be safe and secure; without it we will surely stray and perish:
My love is My stronghold; he that entereth therein is safe and secure, and he that turneth away shall surely stray and perish. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 9)
In case we missed the point, He tells us again, we’re not to seek enlightenment from anyone but Him; or busy ourselves with anyone but Him:
Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 13)
He’s asking us to let go of everyone who comes first in our lives; our lovers; our children; our bosses; our pets . . . because nothing will ever separate us. When we put our attachments on anyone or anything else, it’s impermanent; where His love is enduring. We can look throughout the whole universe for all of eternity and we won’t find anyone who loves us more perfectly or more permanently.
The temple of being is My throne; cleanse it of all things, that there I may be established and there I may abide. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 58)
Turn thy face unto Mine and renounce all save Me; for My sovereignty endureth and My dominion perisheth not. If thou seekest another than Me, yea, if thou searchest the universe for evermore, thy quest will be in vain. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 15)
We need to clean and sanctify our hearts (make them purified, consecrated, dedicated, and sacred) so that there’s room for God.
Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)
The way we do that is by letting go of all impurities (anger, fear, self-pity, bitterness, jealousy, envy etc)
He wants us to turn to Him with every problem and to forget going anywhere else:
Forget all save Me and commune with My spirit. This is of the essence of My command, therefore turn unto it. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 16)
He wants our only sorrow to be that we are far from Him; our only joy that we are drawing near and returning to Him.
Sorrow not save that thou art far from Us. Rejoice not save that thou art drawing near and returning unto Us. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 35)
We spend a LOT of energy giving this sorrow and joy away to others, which takes us far from our True Lover, who’s always waiting patiently for us to come back.
Like any lover, God wants us to call Him by name, so that He’ll remember us when we get to heaven.
Make mention of Me on My earth, that in My heaven I may remember thee, thus shall Mine eyes and thine be solaced. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 43)
How many of us are afraid to call Him by name; yet when we love someone else, it’s all we can talk about?
Closer than our life vein
God’s love is with us 24/7. It never takes a break. We can count on Him to be with us at all times:
My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find Me near unto thee. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 10)
He is closer than our life vein and we can be reunited with him swifter than the twinkling of an eye:
This most great, this fathomless and surging Ocean is near, astonishingly near, unto you. Behold it is closer to you than your life-vein! Swift as the twinkling of an eye ye can, if ye but wish it, reach and partake of this imperishable favor, this God-given grace, this incorruptible gift, this most potent and unspeakably glorious bounty. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 326)
We can find Him standing within us, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting:
Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 13)
Looking for love in all the wrong places
God knows that we’re looking for our beloved elsewhere and reminds us that when we do, we forsake (abandon, disown, reject, cast off, give up, renounce, turn our back on) His love for us:
Why hast thou forsaken Me and sought a beloved other than Me? (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 19)
He sees that we’re contenting ourselves with second best; and asking us to return to something better:
Upon the tree of effulgent glory I have hung for thee the choicest fruits, wherefore hast thou turned away and contented thyself with that which is less good? Return then unto that which is better for thee in the realm on high. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 21)
He knows it won’t be easy. There are lots of distractions, traditions, superstitions, idle fancies and vain imaginations which will hinder us from loving Him because it’s hard for our minds to understand Him or our hearts to contain Him:
Ye shall be hindered from loving Me and souls shall be perturbed as they make mention of Me. For minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 66)
God asks us to meditate on this conundrum: why, when He’s so close, and despite my certitude of its reality and my recognition of my station, am I still so far removed from Him? Why do I forget my Creator and Lover; stray far from His path, shut myself out from His glory and stain my heart with earthly desires?
Meditate on what the poet hath written: “Wonder not, if my Best-Beloved be closer to me than mine own self; wonder at this, that I, despite such nearness, should still be so far from Him.”… Considering what God hath revealed, that “We are closer to man than his life-vein,” the poet hath, in allusion to this verse, stated that, though the revelation of my Best-Beloved hath so permeated my being that He is closer to me than my life-vein, yet, notwithstanding my certitude of its reality and my recognition of my station, I am still so far removed from Him. By this he meaneth that his heart, which is the seat of the All-Merciful and the throne wherein abideth the splendor of His revelation, is forgetful of its Creator, hath strayed from His path, hath shut out itself from His glory, and is stained with the defilement of earthly desires. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 185)
We’re not to worry too much about it, though, since He created us this way; and we know His work is perfect:
With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof. (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words 12)
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