Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bluster and Bombast

It is a blustery day out there. Bluster. I just love that word. It seems like it needs to be said with a mouthful of air, a loud popping on the 'bluh'-sound, cheeks aflutter as you blow past the 'st', and ending with the whole head shivering side to side with the 'er'. "Bluuuuuhhhhhhhh-sssttt-errrrrr".

I always imagine a walrus shaking his be-whiskered snout vigourously from side to side as he says this descriptive word.

But what is it? How can a day be blustery? For the weather, it means that there is a loud wind blowing, and a misty rain shooting throughout it. It can also refer to a person. It means that they are loud and boisterous, but without much substance, as in the sentence, "He was all bluster, but did nothing."

What, you may ask, does this have to do with me and the teaching of the Faith? I'm so glad you asked, dear Reader.

Baha'u'llah tells us "Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break." How we do that is up to us.

While looking through the Writings, there were two very distinct kinds of wind mentioned. There is the gentle breeze at the break of dawn, stirring the world into movement. It is the bringer of God's "loving-kindness", His "tender mercy", His "will", His "grace" and "decree". It is the result of our desire for Him, and inclines us in the direction of His bountiful favours. It is the "Dawn of His Revelation", "His eternal glory".

Then there are those "tempestuous winds of tests (that) have caused the steadfast in faith to tremble". There are the "mighty winds of disbelief". There are "the contrary winds of oppression and tyranny", "the winds of hatred".

It seems to me that at this time, while teaching, we, too, can be full of bluster. We can talk all sorts of loud, potentially threatening things, making a storm of ourselves and our ideas, or we can be more like that gentle and refreshing breeze, sharing the teachings instead of forcing them upon others, allowing them to refresh the hearts of those with whom we share them. We can throw them in someone's face, or offer them as a gift to a king.

Personally, I know which one I prefer.

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