our darkness, part 2

The morning after I wrote that last entry, I had a hard time getting out of bed. Struggling with a feeling of despair. It may be true that we can find God in our experiences of rejection, but somehow it still left me feeling pretty depressed. I think it was recognizing that so much depends on the cooperation and help of others, and we so often let each other down. Sometimes due to our lack of love and sometimes just because we are limited and unable to do enough to meet all the needs presented to us. Facing that, it seemed like the work we are trying to do, the life we are trying to live, is hopeless. When others fail us, God may indeed be with us, feeling the frustration and disappointment along with us—but aren't we still left with failure?

I was reminded then of my belief that God's purposes, while they are often done through people, cannot be held back by people's faults or failings. Somehow God finds a way anyway. And our experience of the promised kingdom of God, while it certainly involves others and is usually given through our relationships with others, it is not dependent on them. Others can fall far short and God can still fulfill his promises to us. I don't understand how, but I do believe it.

That same afternoon, I got a note from one of the people we were waiting to hear from about a January retreat (trying one last time to still get the advent retreat group together, if a little late). And he said he could come, so we're going to do it after all. We're relieved and grateful. I had felt that this group had been an unexpected gift, and then had been so confused and disappointed when our weeks of trying seemed to fail; I really needed it not to fail completely.

I know this is such a small thing, and so many more unlikely steps have to happen before we actually have folks coming for retreats here regularly (and enough support to provide for their coming). I guess it still seems as impossible as it did that morning.

But perhaps not hopeless.