Welcome the Dark

My cup of faith emptied through no fault my own
In fact if anything it should have been overfilled
I had grown accustomed to knowing I was not alone
Now the presence of God nearby no longer instilled

Life went terribly wrong in ways I cannot explain
Faith disappeared, I questioned if it was ever there
The loss doubled as human condition caused pain
I was left with nothing to grasp in complete despair

I prayed intensely, but what I said felt ignored
I searched for peace with walks and meditation
Yet solace and comfort was not to be my reward
All alone, the days increased to nights that frighten

Terrified of both; loss of faith and human kindness
I reached to my pastor in last hopes for an answer
Words could not be found to describe this blackness
God was simply not there, life had become a disaster

I had no where to turn except to self made mortality
I had to give up reaching out to God in every way
for when I tried the pain increased exponentially
This flash of insight started to help ease night to day

The test became could I, alone, read from the ambo
knowing God’s spirit would not fill me with courage
God was truly gone, of that I no longer was in limbo
All this time, all this energy, to forget His language?

My mind thought of times now far out of reach
Failure assured, in love, I would still give my best
I walked towards the finish, towards the breach
and found myself transformed into a place of rest

Heart exploded to know Christ now dwelled inside
As He floated us to the spot where grace read aloud
Christ’s new permanency, never again to be denied
Light shone bright, darkness just a passing cloud

This night flushes away what we think we can face
and let us rise outside the limits of human birthmark
God brings our souls to the edge of heavens preface
so ours hearts can flame to new love with this spark

Years ago I had just finished completing a faith based task that had given me tremendous joy and my life could not have been better. Less than 24 hours later, I had a traumatic experience that should not have gone the way it did. God decided to let my faith crash and burn over a very long three week period. I know now but did not know then that God does this sometimes even to His most faithful servants. The closest emotional feeling is one of complete abandonment and it carries with it associated nightmares of an endless abyss. I can assure you there is nothing more emotionally painful for someone that has previously constantly felt the presence of God. When God senses your preconceived notions about Him and your own self worth is destroyed, He comes back with a vengeance so to speak.

In my case He choose to do it when I was left with only my human abilities in an attempt to lector even though I knew for certain I would fail. In truth even though I felt God had indeed abandoned me, I knew in my past I loved Him so much so I was prepared to make a fool of myself. There is nothing more humbling to know the only way you are going to read out loud to an entire parish is with Gods help. I was literally just a few feet from the ambo when I was completely consumed in His love and swear I physically floated the rest of the way there reading like I had never read before. This experience changed me dramatically especially the sense of the presence of Trinity being far more intense and intimate along with remarkable clarity of my human failings. With heart open my journey now consists of constantly changing horizons. Short moments of dark times occasionally come and go but now I know each time will bring its own lesson.

For further reflection: St John of the Cross – The Dark Night