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Common Word, Common Lord

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord

Pharrell Williams’ smash hit “Happy” has set off a worldwide phenomenon, bringing Pharrell Williams himself to tears. This phenomenon has touched the Muslim community around the world as well, staring with Muslims in Britain, who made a video of themselves dancing and laughing to the song. Following in their lead, Muslims around the world have made similar videos, including the Gaza Strip, Saudi Arabia, and even in my home of Chicago.

The controversy over these videos notwithstanding, the song itself has a fantastic message. There is one verse of the song, in particular, that is most telling to me from a spiritual perspective:

Your love is too high to bring me down

When I heard these words, I immediately thought of God’s love. Indeed, His love is most definitely “too high to bring me down.” In fact, it is too high to bring anyone down. And when we are enveloped in God’s love, we cannot help but be happy. 

His love is so soothing, so comforting,  so liberating, that it cannot help but make one happy. And that happiness is a deep-seated, warming happiness that nourishes the soul. It is a happiness that kings and princes would give up all their power and riches to get.

Living in God’s love is the only way to go. I was raised to fear God. Indeed, God’s punishment is something to be feared. His wrath is something to be feared. His chastisement is something to be feared.

But, as His Word says, “He has willed for Himself [the rule of] Mercy.” His Mercy overpowers His wrath, and thus – while keeping in mind His punishment – the main focus for our lives should be to live in His love.

I mean, it was His love that gave us life in the first place. What have we done to God or for God to deserve the gift of life? We were nothing before God breathed into us of His spirit and gave us life. Was it not out of love that God gave us life? Indeed it was.

And so, because God loved us first by giving us life, then our entire lives should be dedicated to loving God back by being faithful servants to His will. Every act of kindness we do to another creature is because we love the Creator of that creature. Every good deed we do to our fellow humanity is because we love the Creator of that human being. Every thing we do to make our world a better place is becuase we love the Creator of this world.

And when we do our best to love our God back, He showers us with even more love, and grace, and mercy, and blessing. And we become happy.

And so, God’s love is indeed “too high to bring me down,” and because of that great, all-enveloping love, we cannot help but feel happy. May we all live full, happy lives in the love of the Beloved Lord our God. Amen.

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