I wrote this in my journal about five years ago. It’s more true today than it was back then.
I read the news headlines . . . which is as much as I can usually stand . . . and this is what I read.
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Apparently, we’re all gonna die soon, one way or another . . . and some of us will die very horrible deaths too.
I have an artist friend who I sometimes write to and who then once in a while writes me back because he’s my “friend” . . . or because he wants to sell me something. Who knows? Yesterday, I wrote him something about the loneliness that I sometimes feel even in the company of people I love the most and also about our universally-experienced existential angst because he wrote something about that the other day. You know what he wrote back?
Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.
Lots of things in my life seem to be falling apart right now. Mercifully, NOT my very most important relationships with Karen and our kids. But all the other things are coming apart or, at least, they seem that way.
I know . . . and I’ve known this for a long time now . . . if I live long enough every single close relationship will be plucked or, even, swept away until I am all alone with only God. I always add, “then it will be clear that He is enough!”
But, really, who knows for sure about THAT?
Last night around 2:30 in the pre-dawn morning, I was wailing this prayer inside my heart.
JESUS! LORD, JESUS! PLEASE HEAR MY CRY TO YOU! ANSWER ME, GOD! PLEASE ANSWER ME! OH GOD, WHERE ARE YOU!
Actually, I can’t write here the way I prayed these prayers because it’ll look unreadable. If you draw out all the vowel sounds into a pitiable wail, then that will be something like how it was inside of me.
You know what God said to me in response to my cries?
Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.
I only knew that I wasn’t actually screaming out loud because Karen lay still sleeping beside me. I softly slipped my hand inside of hers, and I begged God to let me fall back to sleep if He wasn’t going to speak to me.
I did fall back asleep . . . and before the alarm went off two hours later, I dreamed.
In my dream, Karen and I were in a little church with some of the people who remain in our small congregation and also some of the people who’ve left over the past few years. We were all just talking about seemingly unimportant things, nothing much really, but we were all together.
And THAT’S what made me feel, even though I couldn’t see Him, that God was there with us.
I woke from this dream completely comforted.
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