our darkness

For the last several weeks I've been struggling with feelings of confusion and darkness (due to our latest retreat attempts failing), and more recent apparent failures in relationships here have added to those feelings. I've noticed that these failures (when I thought I was doing what God wanted) have especially bothered me because they've left me feeling distant from God. Left alone. I tell myself that's not true, but I haven't been able to shake the feeling, which has scared me more.

This morning, though, I recalled my recent thoughts about finding God in grief. And I wondered if we could also encounter and unite with God in our feelings of failure and rejection. I guess I usually don't associate God with those feelings. Those feelings usually drive me to question my actions and beliefs, think that I have gone wrong somehow, or that what I am offering is of little or no worth. I have a hard time accepting that God would lead me to do something if it is just going to end in rejection or failure. But when I think of Jesus' life on earth, I imagine he experienced those feelings often. I imagine God must also often feel rejected now, though what he offers is true and good. Perhaps when we're trying to do the same thing and feel that rejection, we can actually be closer to God in that feeling, not separated from him. Our apparent darkness may be much closer to light.

Uniting with God in the middle of these feelings may also be the only way to find the energy and love to continue to be open and reach out to those who reject us. Their rejection need not make us feel worthless or cause us to reject them. Rather it could cause us to be and feel closer to the God who was rejected (and is still, again and again).