The Milk of a Snail
The longer a fabric soaks in the dye-bath, the more deeply the fibers take on the dye. One might say the fabric is transformed. And in a way it is. But in a way, it remains the same as before.
Some of the ingredients that go into the most beautiful dyes are surprising. In the right hands, the white, mildly poisonous secretion of a snail turns to Tyrian purple, the color that consumed the passions of royalty in the ancient world until the recipes were lost forever.
The gentle sheikh instructed this new Muslim to accept the dyeing process and not to be surprised at the ingredients. He said to become a better, more loving husband; to become a better, more loving father. He said to become a better, more loving son...a better, more loving person. This was what was required of me in becoming Muslim.
If our intentions are pure and sound, each prostration in prayer is like being dipped into Love's dye-bath. But likewise, if our intentions are pure and sound, each time we wash our family's dishes, each time we speak well to our parents, each time we hug and laugh with our children, and each time we are tender with our spouses...we bathe in the same vat of Love as our prayer.
This is how we take on the colors of God's attributes. These colors are vivid and rich. And if we allow ourselves to be patient with the Master Artisan, these colors become indelible.
May it be so.