(See http://diggingalot.org/diggingalot/?p=2108Â for the background).
Sometimes it is easy to see ‘sprituality’ as something ‘inner’: I think it is more a way of ‘seeing’ that is a motivator for action. When all around is crying ‘Look after you and yours, brood on hurts, find a crutch and lean on it’ etc…. I think that Jesus-centred spirituality is saying ‘wherever you are, however you are, how can you bless others’…..
The second part of the chapter is called ‘A way of darkness’.
”Darkness’, like ‘loss’, is too easily assumed to be negative; darkness is a place we should not be. It is, in fact, a normal and important part of the life of faith.’
I have found that to be true, but I still want to run from it….. (and also the way my mind works, I want to go into that repeated sketch from the ‘Fast Show’ which always runs the same way…. a thoughtful bloke, quiet, who goes along quite normally until he utters the words ‘dark’, ‘bleak’ or ‘black’ and then goes into a spiral of despair and wails….. I always find that darkly comic….. there you go…destroyed the moment. If you want deep spirituality, read Thomas Merton. Nothing to see here….move along now…).
In the book ‘The Prodigal Project’ (Riddell et al), a story is told of a church with lively and bouncy worship (and regardless of what you think of the general tone of this blog, I have nothing against that) reaching a pitch of worship and the worship leader had got the congregation to a place where he wanted them to be. There was a short period of silence. In the silence, the sound of screaming and dull thumping could be heard: next door, in the adjoining house, a man was battering his partner. The worship leader, embarrassed maybe and not knowing what to do, asked the band to begin some loud rousing choruses to dull out the sound….
‘The most sensible response when you cannot see anything is not to rush around and fight it, but to be still. We must learn to listen and feel our way in ways that may be new to us. It will be slower, more hesitant, but no less faithful or purposeful.’
Right now, I do not know what to do in several situations: I’m lost, stuck. There is so much I could do: my head is, as usual buzzing with ideas, my in box and in tray are full of initiatives and the pressure to ‘do something’ feels very loud. I managed to cancel a meeting, carved out some time to pray, read and blog this…. and…. I still don’t know what to do…… maybe I need to have the courage to do more of that…more often….
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott
(HT: http://sallysjourney.typepad.com/– see post ‘Hope’ and follow the story back….)