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Sunday, 1 June 2008

hope in the dark

"Hope...is a gift. Like life, it is a gift from God, total, unexpected, incomprehensible, undeserved. It springs out of nothingness, completely free. But to meet it, we have to descend into nothingness. And there we meet hope most perfectly, when we are stripped of our own confidence, our own strength, when we almost no longer exist." - Thomas Merton

It has been my experience that both hope and faith can spring from a place of empty despair and tears. When clinging so fiercely to my last threads of faith I have felt as if my fingers have given way and I reached the point when I dropped away from that which I clung to so desperately. And then, landing in the bottom of the pit, reduced to complete and utter honesty about where I was and who I was - God has said 'Ah. There you are.' And looking up, I realise that for all my struggles to keep myself from falling, he was there all the time, right at the bottom of the pit. Stripped of everything, I at last perceived him. Not that this realisation made everything spangly and wonderful, but it did constitute a major turning point for me at one stage over the last few years.

I often need to remind myself of this lesson - that I don't need to rely on the strength of my own fingers - that when I thought I was slipping from God's hands, in reality I was falling into them.

Energy levels: 5-6/10
Headache: medium, progressing to high

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"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster