Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The Shadow of God
Why should God be any less complex than we are? Why do we cling to foolish duality?
It is God who created the rock and placed it in our path so that we stumble. It is God who moves the clouds over the sun so that the light is blocked from us. The wolf that takes down your cattle is also a masterpiece of God.
We desperately seek to manoeuvre around the obstacles that trip us, bring darkness upon us and threaten our livelihood. In our scramble for safe ground we become the destruction we run from. When we try to climb a mountain without falling backward we rip from its roots the bush we grasp for to pull us onward one more step.
The bush weeps too as it dies and never realizes its fullness.
Just as God created the crystal clear waters that surge down the winding river, so too did God create the pool of stagnate mud in which your foot becomes mired.
All of creation is a blessing and always comes from love. It is us who divides creation into good and evil, worthy and unworthy, loved and hated. God is the totality, the fullness and the sum of what we see, hear, smell, taste and touch on this Earth, all that comes from and lives in Nature.
Yet we rush to the warmth and shrink from the cold.
We welcome the dog into our homes and slaughter the cow.
What is worthy and unworthy is judged in the mind, not in the heart. Worthiness is always what pleases us, as though we are simply baby birds in the nest, requiring our sustenance to be placed by Mother in our gaping mouths. But we will eventually starve if we resist taking flight.
I have found God in the darkness. I have found God in the shadows, in my shadow; the darkness of my soul. I have felt God’s touch in the pain from my scrapped knee and the sting of salt upon my wound.
Indeed God did not become real to me until I found God in my darkest nights. A God that awaits me in the light could not be conceived of in my heart because my heart also beat in my most wretched moments.
If I could still breathe while sobbing then God must also be there. The breath behind my song is the same breath behind my wailing. We do no justice to God when we assign God solely to that which brings us pleasure and causes us happiness.
I retreated into the closet of my bedroom, shut the door and lay on the tiny expanse of floor. I curled up into myself and hugged my knees to my body. I sought the safety of darkness and confinement and embraced the blackness within my heart.
All hurts and wrongs, all injury and assault, that had been done to me and that I had done to others, visited me there. They were relentless in their mockery and cruel in their accusations.
And for 100 nights I endured them, the closet both my haven and my prison, until they became familiar to me, less demonic and more tiresome. Then in my slumber another voice was heard, barely a whisper that my ears reached for.
The voice that came to me in the night had arms that embraced me and eyes that wept with mine and a heart brave enough to withstand my rage and misery.
This Divine Lover did not wait for me in the light, nor did my Lover shine a light for me to see. My God’s voice was carried on the stale air in the closet, my God’s arms the very blackness that enfolded me, and my God’s tears the sweat from my own brow.
I did not need to kneel and bow my head at an altar to honour this God, for it was honour enough to strip myself of all adornment and lay naked and exposed.
Had I died in that closet God would have held me while I did and then carried me heart and soul to paradise. Had I never seen the Sun my Lover would have wept with me all those long nights and into eternity.
This is the true miracle of God. The blessing of life is passionately embraced when we bow to the complexity of God and our own souls.
How magnificent it all becomes; the rock, the mud and the predator when we endure the closet, submit to darkness, not because we are brave but because we have not the strength to go on.
When we open to the cold that is also our Lovers breath and hearken to the lullaby that sings to us in the darkness then we truly embrace the complexity of our glorious Soul and discover within us the enormity of God.