To stand in the silence — to withstand the silence: not-hearing the Divine voice, not sensing Spirit's presence; the yearning unfulfilled — is a gift, an invitation to seek after God.
The Sacred Search requires patience and persistence. Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking (or pounding, as necessary), and keep listening closely.
inspired by Psalm 22
Holy God, I’m feeling very lonely.
You seem so far away; distant,
like a stranger hurrying past, looking at his phone,
as I sit, weeping endless tears.
Night and day I call, but the only response is silence.
and the mocking of my enemies,
who laugh and take delight in my suffering.
Beyond that, there is nothing;
there is no one who will take my part.
Yet they say that You are the Faithful One,
that You can be relied on when the chips are down.
In the past You were really something;
pulling off miracles right and left.
When the people cried, you listened;
when they were in danger, you lead them to safety;
when they were hungry, you gave them food to eat.
But as for me, it is not so.
Despite my pleas, nothing changes,
I am an outcast;
scorned and shunned,
treated like contagion,
avoided like the plague.
Others stare and shake their heads,
then whisper, as they turn away,
certain that I am guilty of great wickedness,
the author of an evil deed that has brought
a terrible retribution.
But You know better, O Eternal;
You’ve been here from the start:
I’m the same as everyone else —
no better, but no worse.
Show Yourself, Guardian of my life,
for trouble lurks around every corner,
lying in ambush, ready to bring me down.
I’m wearied beyond exhaustion,
I can hardly raise my head
it takes all of my strength to face each new day,
I tremble and hesitate,
I take one step forward and then fall back;
my heart awash with grief,
my eyes dimmed with tears,
my mind a torrent of fears.
I am drowning in my sorrows.
I am surrounded, Lord;
an army of fiends encircles me.
I am defenseless, helpless, weak.
My courage has failed.
They smirk and sneer;
their sharp remarks cut my heart,
their hatred pulls down my spirit;
circling like wolves, they wait for me to collapse.
Yet wolves only kill from hunger, not malice.
These predators destroy for sport;
preying on the weak and vulnerable,
killing because they can.
Red in tooth and claw,
the blood of the innocent drips from their mouths.
Oh my God, can’t You hear me?
Don’t leave me here alone!
O my Help, my Salvation, hurry and rescue me!
Otherwise I will be devoured:
consumed by despair,
my spirit broken,
my life in shreds,
my soul crumbled into dust.
Despite it all, I will not give in.
I will not succumb
to the howling,
that seeks to lure me to hopelessness
Evil will not claim me;
I will not forsake You, O my God,
no matter how long the silence,
how deep the loneliness —
for You are there, even in the silence;
You are the Presence too deep for words.
In the midst of it all, I will be thankful.
Through my tears, I will praise You —
for there is beauty in the darkness,
there is majesty in the depths,
there is grandeur in the stillness.
You, O glorious Comforter, will never abandon me;
You are faithful, trustworthy, reliable —
You’ve been here all along;
ignoring my insults,
hearing my complaints,
easing my pain.
Yes. Yes… Yes, here; here with me:
the unspeakable Presence,
the silent Word,
the Voice that resounds across the universe,
I hear it everywhere: a hymn of joy sung by all creation —
from the sun’s rising to its setting
and throughout the star-strewn night:
butterflies and bats and grizzly bears,
dogs and dragonfish and dandelions,
tortoises and trout and tabby cats,
lizards and leopards and mountain lions,
geese and gazelles and geraniums,
roses and ravens and rainbows:
the forests and the wheatfields,
the mountains and the valleys,
the seashore and the ocean,
the laughing and the crying,
the birthing and the dying…
A glorious multitude
of beauty and blessedness;
filled with grace and truth.
This is God’s world and all have their part;
we are the words and the music.
Lifting up my heart in praise and rejoicing
I become the song:
swept up, swept in — deeper into Your love;
so much a part of You
that there is no separation.
You are my life:
I am Yours.
We are One.
May all who call upon the Beloved be given ears to hear;
may your souls sing gloriously —
in joy and sorrow,
in laughter and tears,
in waking and sleeping,
in sickness and health,
at this life’s beginning and through to its ending —
this day and forevermore.