The simple answer: Darkness
Last week I wrote about my personal experience with God during the candlelight at a Tenebrae service. This past week, I’ve noticed that my moods seem to have a bit of a hair trigger lately. I’m doing great, feeling happy and powerful, and enjoying this new phase of my life. Then suddenly one tiny thing goes slightly wrong — and it’s generally pretty miniscule! — and I’m plunged into pitch-black despair. This is SO not normal for me. I attribute it to the rapid change that has put me on this new path, and the feelings of betrayal and anger that I’m still working through.
Today, as the Sunday after Easter, was the story of doubting Thomas who only believed when he was able to physically touch the risen Christ. So much of me wants to hear those magical words, “You’re hired,” and I now see that as a desire of my physical being. It stems from a deep desire to be valued professionally. I’ll admit that may layoff made me doubt my professional value. However, the reality is that I have become able to share my professional gifts with more people since I was given my freedom. I had locked myself into a world in which I could only give a certain group of people my gifts because I was validated by that small group. Now that I’m free of that prison, I see that I have a massive amount of incredibly valuable gifts that people sorely need. Finding the ways to channel them is the challenge now, because I find that I’m in so much demand that I could work 16-hour days without a second thought because teaching is that intoxicating to me.
The second I look away from my gifts and at my fears is when the darkness frightens me. I think that since the light spoke to me and touched my soul with its warmth, I’m more susceptible to the darkness of fear. I’m still a bit emotionally fragile from the effects of the layoff, and that’s why I feel like my emotions are on a bit of a hair trigger.
Back to the Sunday lesson. The candlelight that is now ubiquitous in the church spoke to my soul again, saying, “See– I’m everywhere. Keep your focus on me.” As I grow and regain my strength — this time with a much firmer foundation, because it’s from within, not some external source — I must remain focused on my calling.
So what exists besides the flame:
There’s nothing there that I need.