Hello darkness my old friend; I’ve come to talk to you again, because a vision softly creeping left its seeds while I was sleeping. And the vision that was planted in my brain still remains within the sound of silence. ~ Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel
So, I took one of those stress tests, not the medical kind, but the one that adds up stress points for changes and chances in one’s life over the course of one year. I so flunked and I knew I would. Though, I didn’t quite realize how badly I would. There are stressors I’ve had that weren’t even on the test and this year is only a continuation of the year previous. If I added them both together and divided by two, I would most likely still have an F minus, minus. I don’t even know why it is that I’m still standing. I shouldn’t be able to get out of bed. Actually, I do know why. It is the power of God that gets me up in the morning and brings me through the day. Also, if I stay in bed, my body starts hurting.
Speaking about getting up – in the middle of Wednesday night, I was awakened by a shrill sound. At first I thought it was an alert on my phone but it wasn’t. I couldn’t get the sound shut off even when I turned the phone hard off. It is especially difficult to find a noise when you can’t tell from which direction the sound comes, which I can’t. I put the phone under my pillow but it didn’t stop the sound. I went into the hall to see if it was a smoke alarm. But no. The sound was in my bedroom. I was about ready to wake Dave in the other room to help find it, when my eyes alighted upon my alarm clock…. Somehow, the alarm had been turned on when the cleaning team was cleaning my room. Midnight. Dark night. God’s humor?
A couple of mornings before, I awoke with the above song by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel going through my head. I think God may be trying to tell me something. As you probably already know, I don’t do well after periods of prolonged stress, but I have coping skills to help. If I can’t keep the brain chemicals in line, I am likely to crash. However, there are times in the spiritual life when,” darkness” is a sign that God is working something deep in the person going through it. The Dark Night of the Soul is a time of God’s silence and often felt absence. It is not the same as depression though it may feel like it and sometimes is accompanied by actual chemical depression which may need treatment.
I am not yet depressed, or anyway, not terribly. I’ve been here before. In my case, it is not the absence of God that I feel because occasionally, I feel him. It is the Silence of God that I’m going through. Although while writing about this, it is very possible that God is using an alarm clock and a stress test to speak to me.
Ann Voskamp – spiritual writer, said, “It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us.”
God uses these “Dark” times to grow us in our interior selves and in our relationship with him. I heard that years ago. A woman said that if you don’t know where God is, it is because he is working within a place we cannot go with our senses. We can’t tell what he is up to. We can’t find the path. Often there is no glimmer of light. But amid the dark there is hope. As I said, I’ve been here before. God had to get me to the place, where I can’t interfere. And I can’t. I don’t know how and I don’t want to. I’ll just continue to keep on keeping on or in other words “Show Up.” God will do what God needs to do.