I Know the Way You Can Get (by Hafiz)

I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
And nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
The innocent
And into one’s self.

O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:

You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.

You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once

I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love’s

That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
And Wanting,
Just wanting to help.

That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom!

All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!

 I want to write a book someday entitled, “The Greatest Forgotten Commandment,” that reflects on the essential aspect of self love.  In the great commandment Jesus says, “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”  It’s those last two words, “as yourself” that are often missing in my life and that causes “my face to harden, a strange look to appear in my eyes and for even squirrels and birds to sense my sadness and I rip apart every sentence.”  The secret is to keep on remembering God, and the love God has for me and to allow myself, perhaps, in that great love, to love myself as well.  Perhaps self love is too difficult to start with – maybe phrases like self kindness, or self acceptance or self cherishing make it easier to accomplish.  And in doing so, in receiving the love of God and in loving myself at least as much as God loves me, my sanity returns and I’m more capable of giving love.  How important for me to meditate on God’s love each day, to take it in and let it even inspire me to love myself and to love others.  Over the years I’ve heard lots of sermons about self denial, and dying to self but never on loving self.  Maybe that’s why so many “squirrels and birds sense the sadness of Christians?”  “As yourself!”  Seems biblical to me?!

Question:  Have you ever heard a message about the importance of self love as a Christian?