Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Something. A Beginning

Something has happened.

I've been writing about this trial, this ordeal that I've been experiencing, and I've got to say it: something has happened.

It seems that what I have been able to be sure of in this last year, even though my certainty was a lot more fluttery and insecure several months ago, is that something is happening, even though I can't say what it is. I have learned to say with Kierkegaard that life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards.

Awhile back I kept having this sense that was different from my usual sense of "I feel like I'm just starting, again." It was a sense that I was preparing to start. Now, I think, I'm starting, again.

And I've been meditating on this. I know the sense where you think, "Gee, this has been a good day." It's not like that. Something is done. A chapter is done. I've said that before because I wanted it to be done, and I wanted "it" to be this tangible thing that I could measure that had to do with how I decided this external thing no longer bothered me, and it was going to change now. It was my sense of control saying "it" was done because I wanted "it" to be done.

The external thing is still there. I still have the sense that God is not done with that, but it is His doing, and not mine. At least a few times a week the Lord reminds me to leave it in His hands, and that He will prove His faithfulness. Today I realized that the stab of pain that has been there for nearly a year, is gone. This isn't a matter of "time heals all wounds." This is a spiritual development. This is the work of God.

Here's what I do know (because there's so much I can't explain and don't at all understand): I remember two other times in my life when suddenly, powerfully, God and His Word seemed more real to me. The first was in 1987 when I was "baptized in the Holy Spirit." The Bible and worship began to come alive to me. The second was in 1993 (or was it 92) when I officially only worshipped at Catholic Mass, had left the charismatic fellowship I loved, but had not yet entered the Church. (I think it was 1992.) There was a particular day that it hit me hard: I looked at everything God had created, especially people, and it was like I could see with heightened vision the glory of God present. I remember seeing this particular sort of slovenly dressed woman in a Taco Bell and feeling flooded with the sense of her human dignity being such an amazing, awesome thing. The love and the joy of God gushed into (through? around?) my soul. Not every day was like that, but I had many such experiences of the overwhelming presence of God, also at Mass.

And right now, in a much less emotional way but in a way no less real, deeper, Scripture speaks to me on a new level. I know, deeply, in a way that it would be a completely different sin than a sin of weakness for me to doubt, that God knows my concerns. When something stirs in me, I no longer have huge mental debates about when I should heed it as a directive from God or when it isn't that. God is a personal being who is interactive in my life. I know that. It is real.

Something has happened. I am still seeing things exposed in my heart, but it is no longer so horrific. It is with a much more gentle sense of God no longer wishing me to hug certain rotting things but to walk in strength. It's like I just want to sit still and silent with it and let it wash me over.

Dear God, I do not understand you at all. But I love you, and all I want to want is you.

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