Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yes, I would still believe

On the Threshold of EternityImage via Wikipedia

My Monday and Tuesday posts this week were a reflection of a somber and questioning couple of days for me. I'm not often visited by depression and don't recognize it quickly - perhaps that's true of all who suffer depression, I don't know - but the blanket of sadness reflected in lives that have touched me since Thanksgiving Day has been palpable.

My Quiet Day at church on Saturday was the simmering pot that brought the issues of God's presence in my life and the lives of others to a full boil in Monday and Tuesday's posts. Yesterday afternoon after brief conversation with a local non-profit organization's executive director about tragedy and hope, followed up by a spiritual growth gathering of friends I treasure, I was struck by an "aha" moment to my question of would I believe if nothing but tragedy entered my life on a regular basis?

I feel silly even thinking that my depression kept me from this realization - of course, yes I would still believe for I do not believe God plagues us with tragedy; the Creator is not the vengeful finger of fate that brings floods, tsunamis, battering, abuse, starvation and illness to this world. God is the creator of all yet has placed the stewardship of this creation in the hands of humankind. We tinker with the environment (yes, I believe the polar icecaps are melting), we introduce selfishness, greed, lust, and evil into our own lives and when these lives of ours are touched by tragedy, for me there is only ONE place to turn for comfort and that is to return to my Creator with broken-heart, confused and muddled mind, teary eyes and lumpy throat. I do worship and believe in the God of goodness and compassion.

Does this make sense to you? Do you need to remember the compassion of God's walk alongside you during what may be dark days for you or for those you love -or just encounter- in this Advent season? For me it seems to be a case of the light peeping in, wanting to pervade my soul, my life, my activities with the full brightness of God's love. Advent is the season of light, let me remember to make it so!

Image/Wikipedia
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12 comments:

  1. It's funny, because my Quiet Day also led to a day of deep depression.

    I've been thinking a lot about this belief question because I've befriended a couple of atheists through blogging, which has led me to consider that belief system.

    I would continue to believe no matter what because I can't NOT believe. That egg is already scrambled. I would have to diligently train myself not to see God in everything, and even then, I don't know if I could do it.

    Atheism is unfathomable to me. In a way, I wish it wasn't, because it's hard to be compassionate to something that's unfathomable. And I don't like it when I can't understand something.

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  2. I, too, have received in the last several weeks many pieces of what can only be described as awful news, including news of several deaths, and I think at such times that our days bring us more sorrowful news than news of happiness, the weight of all those days begins to bear down intolerably. That's when the "why" questioning often begins. After a long association with the group Our Cancer (npr.org/ourcancer), I've learned to shut off that question when it arises in my mind; one, because even if an answer were available, it would change nothing of what's happened; and two, because there are things I can do (this is the "what" piece) that keep me rooted in the present and part of the lives of those I love. Some friends who have experienced the worst of tragedies never waver in their belief or faith, or, most important, hope. I think if you can hold on to hope, belief seems a breeze.

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  3. Dear P, It sounds like you and I land about in the same place when it comes to believing. We do and will continue to. Atheists I feel are always yearning for more....I don't think they would say that about themselves but they have lots of questions of why in their attempt to dissuade others who do believe.

    M - I believe hope is a good combination with belief. After all, we cannot conclusively "prove" anything about the God we chose to worship, only that we know we are compelled to do so.

    xoxo

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  4. hard as i unintentionally try to not believe, i can't NOT. yep, that about sums it about i can't NOT believe. last week i had an incredible experience through collage, journaling, advent reading, quiet time (my own version of quiet day) where the lotus blossom kept showing up and upon a little sleuthing these are the words that came along with the image:

    beauty rising through the muck... and that pretty much summed things up (my life... the world... you name it)

    yes, i would still believe. xxoxoox

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  5. http://gallery.me.com/headhiker#100192

    For Lucy

    Peace
    Bruno

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  6. I've had a fair bit of tragedy over the past 10 years - 6 years of illness, a marriage breakdown, a period of several years' duration where I have felt like I was dragging my exploded bits along. I think I have been pretty much depressed that whole time.

    And yet the joy is still there. Not always accessible or recognisable. Even in the days that I have felt purely and simply like I want to be dead (a LOT of days) and that there is no hope, somehow, mysteriously, the life and the hope are still there at the same time.

    Yeah, I still believe (although sometimes i don't want to)

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  7. Bruno,
    How beautiful. Yours I presume.
    CP

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  8. CP,
    Yes they are, thank you for the compliment.
    When I read Lucy's comment I thought I should share them.
    Peace
    Bruno

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  9. Lucy, thanks for sharing the experience of the Lotus Blossom - we all benefited from Bruno's beautiful photo link!!!....and like the Lotus Blossom, even covered with muck sometimes, I never have doubted that you still believe:)

    Sue,
    Your open sharing is so welcome here and thank you for doing so. The shades of darkness that some of us feel occasionally need to be held up to others' lives in order for us to see more of the light of our own experience in a positive way rather than in a more negative way. Having followed your sight for a couple of years, I know that life is a bitch for you sometimes. That doesn't make me happy but it makes me grateful that you visit here and feel safe to just blurt life out as it happens and to declare that even when you don't want to, you can see some joy somewhere - thank you!!

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  10. Bruno - I think all of us visited the Lotus Blossom photos - beautiful and thank you!

    xoxo

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  11. bruno - yes, love the lotus blossom photos. thank you!!

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  12. Hey, SS. Thank you :) I have actually cut my blogs in half. Art/creativity on the usual site and I have begun another one for my other ramblings. Could you drop me an email (it's on my profile) and I will give you the link?

    Thanks for what you said, it really helps to know that.

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