{dear whoever-you-are-up-there}

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“…in our spiritual maturity, there comes a point when we have to be emptied of those attachments to the spiritual pleasures of the path and be willing to rest in aridity, dryness. If…we can mature further along the spiritual path, if we can withstand that aridity after the spiritual goodies we may have been receiving for many years along the way, and rest in that place of not getting fed on those lovelies, then we may be given the grace of the more harrowing night of the soul. [This] is the conceptual stripping, when our concepts, all of our ideas about who God is and what the spiritual path is, are taken from us, and nothing makes any sense anymore. Even the word, “God” is just an empty word.” (Mirabai Starr)

dear whoever-you-are-up-there.

you seem just out of reach.

just beyond my outstretched arms.

just beyond my fingertips.

nothing i do seems to reach you.

i still believe you are there.

on some level.

you are there.

but why are you hidden from me?

why are you distant?

they say it is me who has moved away.

i say it’s both and neither and sometimes just one of us.

you seem like a mirage in the desert.

a faded memory of what once was.

a dream.

a recollection.

an old photograph in need of restoring.

a time i strain to remember.

someone i once knew well.

now we feel like strangers.

can i hold your hand?

if i could, would it be enough?

can we be close again?

it feels like punishment.

as though i’ve been banished.

i was just too bad?

i didn’t do enough?

pray enough?

read enough?

love you enough?

there is a grand canyon between us.

is your arm really long enough to reach me?

are you holding back?

or are you trying to reach me but i am too far away?

we are at a standstill you & i.

i feel frozen in place, unable to move forward.

not even knowing what that looks like, feels like.

i am numb today.

two steps forward, ten steps back.

get me out of this limbo.

or give me shreds of peace in the midst of it.

is the darkness really a blessing?

is it good?

good for me?

good for us?

purposeful?

where did my faith go?

can emptiness really open me up for more of you?

this kind of emptiness?

can it really be a good thing?

knots are being unraveled.

instead of tightness i now feel looseness.

but the wind blowing through the strands is frightening.

the newly loosed strands may fly away forever.

how can i feel whole again?

will what was lost ever be regained?

can i ever be at peace, at home, in the dark?

am i meant to feel good here?

am i fighting acceptance?

am i pushing myself away from freedom?

dear whoever you are, how do i exist here?

dear whoever you are, why must i suffer in silence?

dear whoever you are, did you know me then?

dear whoever you are, can you know me again?

dear whoever you are, what is on the other side of darkness?

dear whoever you are, how do i relate to a silent presence?

dear whoever-you-are-up-there, will morning ever come?

{Hope Wood © 2014}

“I am convinced that the same God that might call me to sing of God at one time might call me at another to sing of godlessness. Sometimes when I think of all of this energy that’s going on, all of these different people trying to find some way of naming and sharing their belief, I think it may be the case that God calls some people to unbelief in order that faith can take new forms.” (Christian Wiman)

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