Walking in the Dark
Last night my wife suggested we go outside and view the supermoon. We live in an area where there are few street lights and so we hoped to have a great vantage point. However, when we looked up into the sky clouds were all that was visible. Sigh. What should have been an amazing sight and experience ended up being a disappointment. Friends were posting pictures of the supermoon on social media, writing about its beauty and soaking in the wonder. For us? Nothing but an obscured view and the assurance of others it was there even though we couldn’t see it.
As I looked at the stunning photos of those blessed to witness it I was reminded of the truth of that not being able to see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. During certain seasons in our lives hope, love, change, peace, an end to difficulties and suffering are no where in sight. We try to rejoice with others who are winning their battles, breaking their habits, getting over their hangups but inside we are filled with doubt and fear. We look to heaven, our hearts and spirits loaded with uncertainty and confusion; “Where is our victory? Our salvation? Our time of triumph and celebration?”
One of the hardest parts of our journey is what Saint John of the Cross calls; “The Dark Night of the Soul.” It’s a time of unsteadiness and wavering in our beliefs. A season where clouds of skepticism, disillusionment and despair seem to block any view of goodness and light. We are lost, blind with no sense of direction and no confidence in rediscovering our path or purpose.
These stages of wandering away from certainty, exploring our faith, letting go of assumptions and convictions can be frightening but trusting when we cannot see can only be learned walking in the dark.