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:
The best part of the song is when she sings:
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:
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:
In Your Most Holy Name I ask these things, O Lord. Amen.