Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who Am I in the Darkness?

Most of us have "spiritual awakenings" throughout our lives. We all struggle. We all fail. The enormity and depth of understanding of failure is often softened by youth and the illusions of immortality and invulnerability. It seems around middle age when we begin feeling our mortality and we've screwed up enough people with our stupidity and narcissism, a light finally goes on (or more accurately the light goes off) and we confront our darkness. It is in that darkness that God dwells (Psalm 18:11) and we see Him and ourselves most clearly. It is then that repentance becomes not an act, but an obsession.

I rarely cross post other people's stuff, but Anastasia's poem is worthy.

Zaccheus Cried Himself to Sleep that Night

When you begin to understand
(begin, because you never can, fully)
how hugely you have damaged and deformed yourself,
how deeply you have wounded others,

when you get a true glimpse
of the aching beauty you have missed,
the True Love you have scorned,
and trashed what is most to be cherished,

when you truly know the reality
of how ugly are the pleasures you grasp,
and how ruinous, and hateful,

and when you see, right there,
immediately next to your heart,
forgiveness, healing, a new start, real life,
all yours for the taking,

that’s when the tears come,
in a flood, all by themselves, guaranteed.

7 comments:

Cameron said...

Beautiful.

Sophocles said...

sp,

Thanks for this post. It is the truth. Only in our darkness can we "see" the Lord in all His brilliant goodness and love.

I tend to spurn Him until I trash His image within me through acts of self-will that are contrary to Him. This "trashing" always ends up breaking me and I return(I praise God! that He allows me to return) to humility.

In that initial humility it is peaceful and how I wish I could remain there but it seems the pattern for me is that imperceptibly arrogance steals in and I over time become puffed up and the great fall happens and I return to Him.

I have seen this pattern in my life countless times now and perhaps the attainment of humility as a permanent virtue is the remaining in that initial brokeness permanently and not allowing that creeping pride and arrogance to enter in.

I am not able to prevent it at this time. But hopefully I am learnign to "Hate my life in this world" to begin to repent.

I so relate with Anastasia's poem.

Recently I went to my 20 year Class Reunion and I was given a glimpse at myself and her poem's words were made manifest to me that I wept inside myself when I was there and realized what I had become in contrast to what I ought to be. But Im sure it was only a glimpse. God, in His goodness withholds this vision from me because if I truly saw the whole picture I most probably would spiral into despair.

In Christ,

Sophocles

Nico said...

Forgive me for merely passing along someone else's thoughts in response, but the poem and your introduction reminded me of this from Fr. Sophrony:

Bitter dissatisfaction with--revulsion from--oneself is the first sign that we are approaching the fulness of love commanded of us by God--surmounting the terrible obstacle of self-centredness. In prayer born of hatred for self, new being, not of this world, unfolds within us and we contemplate Divine majesty (We Shall See Him, p. 130).

Now I'm going to mosey on over to Anastasia's and see what other delightful things I can find.

s-p said...

Hi Sophocles and Nico, My 40th high school reunion is in two years. I went to my 10th and never went to another because of what I found in me there. (What happens at reunions would be another interesting post...) The cumulative weight of our sins eventually crush the illusion of "life" out of us, and it is only through the crucifixion of the "old man who is in accordance to the flesh" that we find true Life. Thank God He is indeed patient while we struggle to put our hand to the cross and permit Him to "nail our flesh to the fear of Thee."

DvntWriter said...

I saw this post when you first published and wanted to say something, but was too touched by it to figure out what I wanted to say.

To borrow from Sophocles, "I tend to spurn Him until I trash His image within me through acts of self-will that are contrary to Him. This "trashing" always ends up breaking me and I return..."

This is what call the 2X4 method. I mess up, and continuing messing up, all the while thinking about how I'm messing up and wondering how I'll ever get myself out of the latest hole I've dug. Sooner or later things reach a tipping point, and I realize (all over again) that all I have to do to make things better, is...pray.

You'd think I'd catch on sooner or later, but there is a Heavenly wooden board with a perfect imprint of my head tattooed on it that says otherwise.

s-p said...

I wonder how God keeps track of the billions of 2x4's He has hanging in His shop with all of our names on them. But then, I guess He can cuz He's God.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Oh, my, I bungled something yesterday that clearly God intended me to do differently, and the remorse is strong. Interestingly, nearly every post I have read this morning has dealt with this topic! A message or a coincidence? (Or are coincidences merely those times that God chooses to remain anonymous?)