It has finally occurred to me that I need to acknowledge that I am not as mentally or emotionally respectable as I have always believed, not as positive and optimistic as I have always intended and, at the end of day, as I was reminded from Tolstoy’s quote about unhappy families being unhappy in their own way, I too am an individual deeply unhappy in my own way. I don’t “keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side” of life. I don’t like everybody. I don’t see the best or assume the best of other people’s motives and I am painfully aware of the wickedness of my own inclinations, motives and preferences. I see the darkness in me in a way that seems to exclude the Gospel altogether. As a matter of fact, my theology often gets in the way of my honesty. I feel the darkness dropping heavily upon me, surrounding me and I succumb to it with sadness but not much resistance, anymore.
He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long. He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked. Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, he dragged me from the path and angled me and left me without help. He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows. He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. Lam. 3:2-13
His love for me does not mean that I get whatever I want, that I get to be the exception to the rules or the statistics, that He will open for me doors that men have shut. His intentional creation of me as a purposeful body part does not mean that I get to know what that purpose is or that the intention is apparent to me.
One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? Rom. 9:19-21
Maybe my biggest problem is that I never dreamed, as a little girl, of growing up to become “common use”. I always wanted to become a special purpose. My Wonder Woman Underoos were only the beginning. My lasso of truth and invisible jet were just the icing on the cake. It doesn’t matter that theologically I know the “special purpose” is Jesus and not me. I thought maybe we’d make a great team, co-leaders if you will, better yet, the new inhabitants of the League of Justice. But Jesus is fully complete with the Father and the Spirit. And it turns out, I’m not quite the match for the bad guys that I imagined as a little girl in costume.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Gen. 1:2
Perhaps I am now like that first earth, formless and empty with darkness covering the surface of my depths. He makes me dwell here like those long dead, holding me down with chains, walling me in, shutting out my prayers and piercing my heart with his arrows. Yet like that first darkness, the Spirit of God is in fact hovering, yet unseen and unheard and still, to my experience, unnoticed. What creation will follow, and when Light might break forth, I do not know.