“Your relationship with God is the same as your relationship with the sun. If you hid from the sun for years and then chose to come out of your darkness, the sun would still be shining as if you had never left. You don’t need to apologize. You just pick your head up and look at the sun. It’s the same way when you decide to turn toward God- you just do it.“– Rumi
Love and sunshine.
Easy to write about on a brilliant blue day in March in Chicago, with birds chirping and everything sparkling. It’s all good when good news abounds and the sun is shining. Harder to see in the dark, always has been.
Have you ever been stuck in the pitch black? Literally, not figuratively. (My guess is we all have spent a little time in both kinds of darkness, although there is nothing kind about either.) I was once at a house party in Michigan, walking up a gravel road through the forest from the moonlit beach. The heavy canopy of trees shut out any hint of light; it was as dark a place as I have ever been. A few steps in and you were totally disoriented. It was hard to take a step because you really could not tell which way was up. Some froze, some laughed and forged on aimlessly, most of us did a combination of both. Ultimately someone and I made it to the car and when we started it and the lights came on we about died laughing at all the people scattered along the hillside, facing different directions. Most interesting was the ones who had barely moved once blindness overcame them. They had huddled together, terrorized, definitely with no hope of finding light.
Becoming immobilized like that is the scariest part, because until you make a move, you stay stuck in your misery. Taking that first step is, ultimately, the only thing that’s gonna get you outta there.
But why do you take that step? It’s faith, right? Faith that safety is nearby, and as you start to take a few steps you might just get far enough down that tunnel to see there really is a way out of the dark.
There’s a notion I often think about, and struggle to comprehend, which is this: Thanks to the grace of God, faith is available to all of us, right? You don’t have to earn His loving supportive spirit; you get it for free.
But, why are some people drawn to it and others ignore this easy option. Why are some willing to choose faith over fear and others aren’t? Why do some take that step in the dark forest to find help and others freeze? Why doesn’t God give us all enough faith and grace to see the light, and let alone, to seek it?
Grrr. Hurts my brain to process that one. Free will can be a pain. At least for this human being. I have a favorite Fred Buechner quote about grace, that takes it a step further.
“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.”
Something to think about, on a cloudy day. On a sunny day, I say be 100% in the sunshine. How good it feels, and, it will motivate you to come looking for it on darker days.
How did the rose ever open its heart, And give to the world all its Beauty?
It felt the encouragement of Light against its Being.
Otherwise, We all remain too Frightened.~ “It Felt Love,” by Hafiz