Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness. —-Meister Eckhart, 14th century Christian mystic
It was He who made His tranquility descend into the hearts of the believers, to add faith to their faith—the forces of the heavens and earth belong to God; He is all knowing and all wise. —-Qur’an 48:4
This morning (Monday) when I opened my eyes, I felt gratitude rise in my soul that it was another fast day for Ramadan. Yesterday was Sunday, and because I am a person for whom the resurrection has deep meaning, it felt somehow missing-the-point to be fasting on the Lord’s Day.
So I didn’t.
First thing I listened for on Sunday morning, was what the deeper truths of Sabbath are and how to stir their awareness inside me, and my hand reached for a collection of gratitude blessings. Gratitude. I decided that my day would be about living this question, “How can I best delight in God’s presence right now? How can I most honor my own being-ness rather than busyness? How can I just rest in knowing that I am exactly where I need to be RIGHT NOW?” And eating when I felt hungry, eating what was both savory and sweet, was a powerful medium of conveying God’s generous abundance of Love and Joy tucked into the nooks and crannies of ordinary lived moments (though because my stomach had shrunk I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted!)
But by the end of my boundary-less day on eating, my heightened sensitivity to God’s sustaining power in my life had waned. I felt more tired than joyful because I had had some very social activities in the afternoon and evening, and in the midst of them my hungry belly wasn’t continually pulling me back into remembering the Presence of Love.
So this morning (Monday), when I opened my eyes, I was glad for another day of fasting. Glad to have this medium with which to engage my ongoing relationship with God. Glad to have this constant touchstone of the Source of my existence.
My friend who converted to Islam many years ago now, told me last week that it was during her first Ramadan that she began to wear the hijab (head scarf) to remind herself continually of God’s Presence (St. Paul calls this remembering “praying without ceasing”). She first needed it to remind herself, when with non-Muslim friends, to not EAT when hanging out with them—because it can be so easy to forget! But then, she said, she kept on wearing it because of how much felt connection to God it brought her throughout her day.
Hmmm…I wonder if there are any hijab-wearing Christian pastors in the world anywhere…