There is a young Dublin man who had been ‘lost’ for nearly 10 years. ‘I have seen it all, done it all, laughed harder than most, and definitely partied harder than all. I had all the pleasures in the world – beautiful women, a good physique, and charming looks’, he said. The young Dublin man also asked himself, ‘Why aren’t I happy?’ I could tell he was being honest with himself. I knew he was in severe pain deep down inside of his soul.
For 10 years, this young Dublin man thought he was invincible. He did things to his body that were undoubtedly risky. He broke girls’ hearts without a flinch. He played with love like it was a game. He disrespected his parents, elders, and friends. He would even pick fights with people when he was younger. He had very little boundaries both inside and outside of his home. If he felt the urge to do something, he was going to do it. He hardly ever thought twice. For him, things were the way they were because ‘that’s just how they were’. He didn’t believe in the saying ‘you get out of life what you put into it’. He said he was spiritual but not religious.
Things started to change for this young Dublin man when he met an older pious Muslim man from India. This Muslim man was a local religious leader at a nearby mosque. The two had a natural friendship from the minute they met. They didn’t have to hide anything from each other. The Dublin man felt comfortable and secure in the company of the pious Muslim man. The pious Muslim man saw the young Dublin man as his own ‘work in progress’. He thought he could help him and bring him closer to his Creator.
When the young Dublin man went to the mosque, he was moved by the community’s dedication to faith, the clarity of their minds, and the sincerity and care they had for their fellow brothers and sisters, even when they weren’t Muslims.
The young Dublin man left the mosque one evening and was struck by an overwhelming sense of fear. ‘Why are these people so much stronger than I am?’, he asked himself. He also asked himself: ‘What have I been doing these last ten years? Why have these things – both good and bad – happened to me?’
The young Dublin man was thankful for all his blessings, but he was distraught over how far he fled. He was connecting all of his earlier wrongdoings to his lack of faith. He wondered to himself, ‘Would all of these negative things have happened to me if I had a foundation to guide me?’
Therefore, the young Dublin man went home in somewhat of a dilemma. In one sense, his life was flashing before his eyes. In-turn, he decided to rid himself of all the negative belongings around his room. He tossed it all in the trash. This was a way for him to cleanse himself of all the things he didn’t need in his life. He then went for a long walk in search of some answers.
While on his long walk, the young Dublin man felt something following him. He said, ‘The street lights were flickering like crazy. Everything was in slow motion. Birds were flying all around me. There were weird explosion sounds coming from the devices on the nearby buildings. The sun was piercing down on my face. Then, suddenly, a massive gust of wind pushed me back’.
The young Dublin man had a strange feeling overcome him. He felt like something or someone was trying to send him a message.
He knew this was the time to make a change.
In the coming weeks, the young Dublin man rededicated himself to the faith he was raised with. He started attending mass everyday in a local church. He started praying. He started thinking about his actions and their consequences.
More importantly, he opened his heart.
But there was this one thing really bothering the young Dublin man. The problem had to do with a woman. This woman used and abused him over-and-over again. When she walked away from him, the young Dublin man’s head was filled with confusion and anger. She weakened his heart. She even made him question ‘love’. When she walked away from him, the young Dublin man had nothing to fall back on. He had given his everything to her. Now that she was gone, he felt he had absolutely nothing.
The young Dublin man thought about her and his recent transformation. He decided to act on both.
Instead of continuing with his hatred and anger for her, the young Dublin man started to pray for this woman. He prayed for her mental and emotional well-being. He prayed she would get healthy. He prayed she would stop abusing those around her. He also prayed for all the men who would cross in her dangerous and destructive path.
At the same time, this young Dublin man, while praying, would ask for signs that his prayers were acknowledged. He needed reassurance of some sorts to confirm he was listened to.
However, one day, everything changed. The prayers of the young Dublin man were answered. They were answered in a very surprising and subliminal way, but they were answered nonetheless.
When the young Dublin man received the news, he was not angry. He was not mad. He was relieved. After all, his prayers were answered.
In essence, the young Dublin man figured out his problem. He thought all his worries and troubles had to do with this woman, but in essence, he was wrong. He identified his problem.
It was never her.
It was him.
This story shows how the power of faith itself is not always a divisive mechanism. A pious Muslim man can awaken a non-Muslim and bring him closer to his Creator. At the same time, the young Dublin man confirmed for the pious Muslim man how members outside of his faith community can learn from his message. This brought the pious Muslim man great comfort as it served for him as a sign that his message was indeed worthy in the eyes of his Creator.
The young Dublin man now walks with a different aura about him. He has a clearer mind and a bigger heart. He is now stronger both mentally and emotionally. He is ready to love again.
This is the mystery of faith.
© Craig Considine