Monday, September 27, 2010

Blessing the Dark Places

Lord, you bless the dark places.

For years now, I have from time to time been led to a visual prayer experience, when Christ meets me in the ancient hallways of my soul with candle in hand. I invite him, in the end, to descend beyond the hidden doorway I am blocking from both him and my own perception. He gently nods and descends the staircase into my hidden darkness.

For years, I allowed him to go to that place and share the light of healing with no need to go there myself. I simply trusted Christ to heal and bring the light. Then for a while, I went along to that dark place behind him and saw there a pier with shimmering waters in the darkness surrounding his light.

Now I wonder, Lord. Lately I've realized this dark place may be a place you call me to explore with Christ as my holy light.

It's not an evil or bad place. It's just a hidden place. There are good things that come from this dark place - the desire to succeed, the yearning to make a difference, the longing for justice. It is a place of passion. Yet there is a dark side to this deep place of primordial urges to protect and defend - the desire to make a name for myself, the weariness of the same old roadblocks I experience in the personalities of others, the resentment that builds over time.

In short, it's the crusader in me who lives in this vast place. Sometimes he expresses himself in hidden ways, sometimes in ways openly related to a project or an agenda I'm working on.

Lord, why I have I spent years afraid to explore this place? Perhaps you are calling me to journey into Holy Darkness, to a courageous and loving confrontation of the shadow side of my humanity. Perhaps you are beckoning me to celebrate the beauty and the alchemy of vitality that arises from my awareness of this mysterious shadow land. Perhaps then I can truly know the healing and cleansing power of Christ's light, which I have invited to that place.

It is a mid-life spirituality, Lord.


Holy darkness, Blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await you, O God of silence,
We embrace your holy night.

- Daniel Schutte