God is found at the boundaries of our life, in what I like to call a “liminal zone” where the distinctions between “me and thee” are nebulous; one might even say where all distinctions are nebulous. When this experience comes to us…if it ever does…it comes as an intrusion or invasion of sorts which psychologist Carl Jung described as an “einfall.” This phenomenon is usually conveyed with the image of a transcendent God toying with mankind…in some sense fiddling with him…until he breaks through his resistance and allows Him in. John Donne wrote a beautiful sonnet in which he prayed, “Batter my heart, three-personed God” for otherwise his adamantine resistance would never be overcome.
Hafiz, aka Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī, was a 14th century Persian poet who wrote a beautiful poem about this process of einfall. This very human experience, so very human that it merits the description Divine, is often gut-wrenchingly painful as the Donne sonnet conveys and as Hafiz conveys here in a more light-hearted fashion.
TIRED OF SPEAKING SWEETLY (aka “God’s Drop Kick”) by Hafiz
Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.
If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.
Love sometimes get tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth
That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,
Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.
God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.
The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.
But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.