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Seeing All the Colors of Paradise

Heartbreaking? To be sure. But hopeless? Far from it. The story of Hashem, while sorrowful, is a story of true repentance and conversion. His son may no longer be with him, but the transformational circumstances surrounding his loss will always be felt; it has left a profound mark on Hashem's soul -- a vital signpost along his path to salvation. And yet, despite the profound importance of his tragic parting and the sadness we may feel at witnessing it, it is the story of Mohammad's life that teaches his father (and us) far more than his death ever could.

There are few beings who rely so completely on the gift of faith as do the blind. For them, "belief in things unseen" is not simply a means of spiritual growth; it is their very life, affecting them in ways sighted folks can never truly imagine. Yet it is not in his faith that Mohammad puts us most to shame, nor is it through his desire to see God that he most inspires us. Instead, it is his urgent, even desperate need to touch Him; to be with Him; to share with Him always that is the greatest lesson to be learned from his story. It is not simply that Mohammad wishes to believe; it is that he, above all else, beyond anything in his life, wishes to love. We, like Hashem, can too easily forget how essential that call to love truly is, and how completely it transforms everything we see and everyone we touch. We are not called to love Him when convenient, or when moved by our emotions, or when He seems to reciprocate our love in a manner and to a degree we deem appropriate. We are called to love always, and completely -- with our whole hearts, our whole minds, our whole souls. Mohammad, in his world of darkness, is not to be pitied; he sees far more clearly than we ever shall.

12/10/2010 5:00:00 AM