"Take Me Away…"

In the Name of God, the Subtle, the Loving

One my precious late daughter’s favorite songs is Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocket Full of Sunshine.” I really enjoy listening to the song as well. Its message is warm, comforting, and upligting. Yet, when I listen to it now, it not only makes me smile, but it also gives me a twinge of pain, because I remember looking in the rearview mirror and seeing my baby Bayan smile at the song and sing along with the lyrics. Sadly, I can never see her smiling face again as long as I live on this earth.

Still, the best songs are those that allow one to connect to a higher knowledge, a greater good than simply being entertained. The best songs are those that allow you to see God everywhere around you. “Pocket Full of Sunshine” is one of those songs.

Ms. Bedingfield sings of her “pocket full of sunshine” where she has a “love, and I know that it’s all mine.” To me, that love is God Almighty. He is my Love; He is my Precious Beloved; He is my Light and my Strength. Without Him, I could not breathe on this earth. I am comforted by the fact that He is always with me, even if I don’t think about Him as much as I should. That is why He is so Beautiful, and I am so ugly.

Then she sings:

Take me away, a secret place
A sweet escape, take me away
Take me away, to better days
Take me away, a hiding place

The best part of the song is when she sings:

There’s a place that I go that nobody knows
Where the rivers flow, and I call it home
And there’s no more lies, in the darkness there’s light
And nobody cries, there’s only butterflies

I think about where that place is for me. One day, I hope and pray that this place is Paradise, where I will be reunited with my baby. But that is after a lifetime of struggle on God’s path and God’s showering His Grace upon me.

Until then, I wonder where that place is. Sometimes, that place is on the golf course. I love that place: it is beautiful, full of the art of God’s creation, and it takes me to a very comforting place, despite all the frustration I feel when I (frequently) shoot a bad shot into the midst of God’s creation (read: trees, bushes, sand traps, water, rough, and high grass).

Sometimes, that place is with my wife and family, when we are enjoying time together. I am so grateful to God for them. Sometimes, that place is when I write. Yet, whenever I reflect over this, it makes me sad. Because, of all the things I have cited, I have never said that this place “where the rivers flow and I call it home” is my daily ritual prayers.

Ideally, my five prayers should take me to that place where “nobody cries” and “there’s only butterflies.” But, they don’t. Whenver I pray, I am constantly thinking…about everything: about an article I want to write; about a patient I have seen during the day; about my daughter; about my aches and pains; about a song I heard; about the amount of work I have to do; about the test I have to take in the fall…and so on, and so on.

Never do I enter into prayer and go to a special place. Because, truly, when one enters into the ritual prayer, one enters into the Divine Presence, the presence of the Precious Beloved. How can I not pay full attention to my “Pocket Full of Sunshine”? Why don’t I have my own personal mi’raj, or ascension, to God when I enter into the prayer? After all, it was during the famous and sacred Night Journey that God commanded the Prophet to pray five times a day.

That’s because I am ugly. I am weak. I am not as good as I should be. I will try my best to make the daily prayers a transformation to that “secret place” about which Natasha sings, but I know it won’t be so all the time. And this makes me sad.

And when Natasha sings:

The sun is on my side and take me for a ride
I smile up to the sky, I know I’ll be alright

It reminds me of the Precious Lord, and I know that when He is with me, I will always be alright. And thus, I make this prayer:

O Precious, Beloved, Loving, Subtle, Beautiful Lord God!
You have always shown me Your Beauty
And I have always shown You my ugliness
You have always shown me Your Generosity
And I have always shown You my greed and selfishness
You have always shown me Your Light
And I have always shown You my darkness.
O Sweet, Precious God!
Forgive me!
Forgive me for showing you the ugly side of me, even though You show me Your Beauty.
Forgive me for showing you the selfish side of me, even though You show me Your Generosity
Forgive me for showing you my dark side, even though You show me Your Light.
I am unworthy, Lord. So forgive me!
And I pray that, despite my ugliness, You always and continue to show me Your Beauty.
For I am lost if I can’t live in the light of Your Grace, Mercy, Love, Peace, and Blessings.

In Your Most Holy Name I ask these things, O Lord. Amen.


2 thoughts on “"Take Me Away…"

  1. God is in every expansion and deflation of breath, each new dawn and sunset….in all eternity–where you and your precious daughter are in your heart.That song is the ringer on my cell phone…Peace be with you and yoursBarbara

  2. I do not know you personally, but I have been reading your blog regularly. You are not by any means ugly. We all have problems focusing in our prayer. I know you are not ugly because of the way you have so strongly and patiently responded to the recent tragedy in your life. I admire you for your stregnth, your faith – most people lose faith in trying times – but the fact that you have not only not lost faith, but have shown gratitude for the time you did have with your daughter – that makes you (and your wife), beautiful. May God continue to grant you with such faith.

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