In the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
The band Evanesence has a song, My Immortal, to which I truly enjoy listening. It is a very sad song, and the pain in it is palpable. A sign of a good is song is that the story of the song can fit into any scenario. One of the most obvious stories of the song is that of someone stuck in an unfruitful relationship.
Yet, when I hear the song (which is often), I think of sin and its consequences. The chorus especially reminds me of this:
When you cry I’d wipe away all of your tears/When you’d scream I’d fight away all of your fears/I held your hand through all of these years/But you still have… All of me.
Why does this remind me of my sin against God? The Lord God has given me so much, He has blessed me with so much more than I ever deserve. He gives, even though I am not worthy of His gifts. He is my Beloved, He is my only Immortal. There should be absolutely no room in my life for sin, because His love for me is the whole reason I live and breathe on earth.
Yet, I do sin, each and every day. Given the fact that I have a Creator who loves me and has given me everything I have ever wanted, and I still disobey Him, this means that I treat my sin as another Beloved besides Him, that it becomes my other Immortal. I care for it more than I care for my true Immortal. Thus, I wipe away the tears and fight away the fears of my sin whenever it cries or screams.
What is the result, however? What do I get in return for the affection I have given my disobedience to God? Nothing but pain and sadness. Like the song says:
I’m so tired of being here/Suppressed by all my childish fears/And if you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave/Cause your presence still lingers here, and it won’t leave me alone/These wounds won’t seem to heal/This pain is just too real/There’s just too much that time cannot erase.
You used to captivate me by your resonating light/Now I’m bound by the life you left behind/ Your face it haunts, my once pleasant dreams/Your voice has chased away all the sanity in me/These wounds won’t seem to heal/This pain is just too real/There’s just too much that time cannot erase.
At first, I thought my sin was wonderful, it used to “captivate me” by its “resonating light.” But, it is a fleeting joy, and what is left is pain and insanity. Yet, why is sin so painful?
Because it estranges me from my Immortal, my Beloved. I mean, how can I stand before the Immaculate Face of my Lord having disobeyed Him? How can I show myself before His Immense Majesty when I can’t even stay away from the things He told me from which to stay away? How can I have the nerve of asking Him for anything else in my life – which I do anyway – when I don’t do what He asks of me?
The estrangement from God is a most dark, cold, and desolate place. It is a place of damp despair and imprisonment. It is a dusky dungeon that deprives the soul from the Nourishing Air of God’s Light. It is a most suffocating existence.
And all that is present to comfort, console, and accompany me is my sin. It doesn’t work because, as the song says:
I tried so hard to tell myself that you’re gone/But though you’re still with me/I’ve been alone all along.
Even though it is with me, I am alone – and dark, and cold, and lonely – because I am not with my Beloved. I can’t bask in His warm, soothing, and noursihing Light because of my sin. It is a wicked thing because, as the song says, even though I held your hand through all of these years. But you still have… All of me. “Having all of me” means I am deprived of my freedom. I truly believe that true freedom is to live in the servitude of God. I am not free if I sin against God, even though I make myself think that I am “free” to do “whatever I want.”
Yet, is this a vicious trap that God sprung for us? Why, is it not in our very nature to sin? Did not the Prophet (pbuh) once say, “Every son of Adam is a sinner”? So, if sin is so bad, so lonely, so painful, why did God make my nature so amenable to sin?
Because He wants to forgive us. He wants to show us Mercy. All we have to do is come back to Him and ask for forgiveness, and He will forgive us. He said so in the Qur’an:
Say [O Muhammad that God says]: “O my Servants who have transgressed agsinst their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God, for God forgives all sins, for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (39:53)
The Prophet Jacob (pbuh) told his sons to “never give up hope of God’s Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of God’s Soothing Mercy except those who reject the truth about God” (12:87)
Even though I deprive myself of His Light by my wicked action, He makes it so easy to come back to Him and warm myself in His Light and Mercy once again, even if it happens a thousand times a day. That is why He is my Beloved. That is why He is my Immortal. He shows me so much love, so much mercy, so much kindness despite myself. That is why He is my Beloved. That is why He – and only He – is my Immortal.