Trauma raises consciousness; darkness reveals the presence of God; Loss removes the stuff that has kept God hidden all along.
Children who have been abused, neglected, or tormented learn to watch the signs to know when to move and when to duck. That skill serves them for the rest of their lives. That sight enables them to find their way by noticing hints and clues.
Ii is only when we are in the dark, that we search for light. If we run in terror, searching for a way out of the darkness, we hit walls and break toes. It is when we are still and our eyes adjust that we can see the shapes of our own making and know that all else is what is eternal.
In that darkness, when the shapes of our own making are most clearly defined, removing them one by one or all at once, reveals more of the eternal. It isn’t the job or the relationship or the dream that takes up the space, it is our terrified clinging…our attachment to those things. It is our hoarding of attachments that take up all the space.
If we don’t toss this stuff, life will. We can release our attachments now or do it when our bodies wear out; either way, it is going to happen…and the benefits of eternal life start once we do. If you are blessed (and we all are) these attachments can be tossed for us, ready or not. Our choice is whether to immediately fill that space in with another attachment or whether to pause and breathe and allow our eyes to adjust further to see God standing there. We have been God all along.
I am, you are, he she it is manifestation of God…covered over with stuff. All of us. (Yes, them too.) We are not separate from God. We’re just God covered over with tarnish, scars, scales, agendas, paperwork, … attachments.
If only just for a moment, peel that stuff away and let the God part of you breathe.
(I write this prompted by the injury of Deshaun Watson. Deshaun has very little ‘stuff of his own making’…very few attachments. He was not raised with abuse or neglect but with love; his faith has been nurtured through hard times, however. He will demonstrate this faith as he heals and reveals the presence of God he holds up for all to see. Watch him and learn. See how faith reveals God.)
After a lifetime of treading water over the dark end of the pool, after decades of working to stay above the murky deep, I now stop thrashing and slowly slip in. As the dark cold water closes in over my head I am at peace and expectant…listening: What do you have for me?
Voices travel well through water and fog.
Just as it’s the struggles that grow us up, it’s the dark that grows us deep. Choosing to not stay on the surface, choosing to let go of security and safety, lowering the eyes and dropping down is the nod of consent: I’m here…I know you’re here too. Tell me…
(repeated and expanded here from my comment to an article in Sojourners)
Those of us who hold fast to truth and Wisdom must also hold fast and protect what we know of God, love, and justice. With Shadrach, Meschah, and Abednego, we know that God can deliver us, but if He does not, we will not bow down nor worship anything else…including fear, hate, or discouragement.
It is my opinion that the best position (in addition to protecting and preserving what we know) is to rise up to take a God-perspective of our situation. ‘Bad’ things are sometimes necessary to bring about world-sized changes. There is much ‘good’ coming from this looming dark time: many people who would ordinarily be going about their business are putting more attention to their relationship with God. There is more praying, contemplating, and discussing.
This is a time to keep vigil. This is a time to bury the silver. This is a time to clarify and strengthen one’s own connection to God…and to do that with others. These are dark times but also times of opportunity to focus on what truly matters.
I agree with Pope Francis; this is a change of era. This is an era when seekers of God in truth can pray in silent unison while darkness builds around them. Travelers on the paths of Wisdom, mindfulness, consciousness,… will find themselves walking alongside one another, humming the same tune, speaking the same language. We see the same light. We hold the same light.
Keep watch. Pray. Hold hands. Hunch up close to Jesus. Do not let the light die.