When one struggles with despair for a good long time, and cannot overcome it, there is only one thing to do. Let it take you. Give up. Allow the surety of doom to blanket you in the dark, and do not scream.
And there, in the dark…where there is no hope, no mercy, no tomorrow…call out if you can, to your God.
Our Lord did this upon His Cross. I’ve heard it theorized that the reason Christ did not sense His divine connection to God at that most agonizing of moments, was that during that particular moment Our Creator was pouring all His mercy out upon the human race, as he sacrificed His only son. As this was accomplished, Jesus felt “betrayed”, crying out: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”; that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
What a frightening thing it is to cry into the silent wind….and wait for what seems like nothing. The secret to surviving this is to realize that there IS no “nothing”. You’re already sitting smack dab in the middle of God, and letting God be what God will be.
WHEN I WAS THIRTY, having studied a bit of science, I decided I could not rectify my belief in the God of my childhood any longer. It was a real grief I felt, very much like finding out there was no “real” Santa at eight years old. I recall sitting on the beach, watching the river, and then turning toward the sky and letting out a sort of primal scream: “I can’t BELIEVE in you anymore!”
Now please don’t think I’m nuts, but I swear that I immediately and clearly sensed a loud voice in my consciousness. With a tone of bemusement, God replied, “Then who are you talking to?”
I had to laugh at myself. My faith came pouring back in a new and enriched way, and has not left me since. God was there even when I did not think I “believed”. I still can’t quite make sense of that, but it’s good. It’s very good.
I think I grew up spiritually a lot after that, I no longer needed a God who fit my expectations. In fact, I preferred a God who wasn’t dressed in His Sunday Best.
Recently I was blessed to take a philosophy course with a gifted professor who was agnostic (and probably still is). We discussed the existence or non-existence of God. We also discussed matter, and its nature. Between classes I often found my mind spinning in some really goofy ways with new ideas about the universe and its Creator.
All this spinning however, somehow coalesced into a small volume of “truths” that I could call my own:
1. A Creator would have to precede His creation, and He him/herself must be the raw material
2. Creation, by definition, is all matter, and all space.
3. Space was created concurrently with matter, and matter depends upon it. Nothing and Something are as interdependent as light and dark.
4. An omnipresent God is not absent anywhere. Creation breathes God and God breathes Creation. All is One and All is God. There is nothing outside of God.
5. God is all matter, all non-matter. All potentiality…all time….all that is no longer before us, and all that someday will be.
6. God both IS and IS NOT. To claim that God exists OR does not exist is a false dichotomy.
If this makes me a heretic, then so be it. I prefer to call it “monopantheism”. I don’t know how the church will feel, but my spellchecker sure disapproves.
There, I’ve explained what the subtitle above is about, and can devote subsequent postings to deeper matters, if I can think of any.
Whoever you are, I love you.