A man went to a barber’ shop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists." "Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barber’s shop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unacceptable. The customer turned back and entered the barber’s shop again and he said to the barber:
"You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you Say that?" asked the surprised barber.
"I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"
"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens, is, people do not come to me”.
"Exactly!"- affirmed the customer.
"That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world." After all, God is unique and his ways got to be unique, too.
Do all of those who seek God can find Him? Here is a poem of Rabindranath Tagore on this theme in my translation already published in boloji -
I have been travelling long
My way is also long
When I had first started it was early dawn.
From planet to planet, from star to star
I have left my footprints along a winding path
Through so many hills and dales
Through so many lands.
To come close one has to travel far
It is very difficult indeed
But not to one who is straight at heart.
Traversing many alien countries
The traveller comes to his own land at last
Only after wandering in the outside world
One can find one’s own inner God.
To say, ‘Here you are’,
I looked in so many places, so many ways I walked
But you are there everywhere in this world
Which we flood with tears
Crying, ‘Where are you, O where!’
Transcreation of poem 14 from the collection Gitimalya by Rabindranath Tagore.