An unedited snippet from my journal of 10/12/15:
"The Lord is my light..." - Psalm 27:1
...when I am trapped.
How is He a light when I'm confined to myself? When I don't have answers? When I can't see change?
He is beyond me. He spoke and there was light. He plays among the stars, in every pretty galaxy. He is light. He is faster than the speed of light because He is outside of speed, outside of time. His love travels to me constantly in every dimension and every time-frame because He is LOVE and LOVE dwells outside of time. It transcends this moment -- this excruciatingly years long point of pain -- to permeate.
Why don't I see this permeation? I live in time. I experience the paradox of fragmented permeation which looks more like shards and shrapnel to dig through. But, sometimes the shards are of glass and reflect the light once again. A friend who excavates the good of my life for me in the midst of my angry rubble. Another friend who shows me every kindness and consideration, indeed cherishing me in my inability to reach out socially. A child who wants to "adopt" Miss Ana. A mother who valiantly pursues the well-being of her child. Shards of grace.
My mind is clouded by failure, depression, seclusion, sadness, imprisonment, grief, and hopelessness. I am not writing this on the other end but lost in the darkest of Middle Earths. Grappling at how to teach beyond this, to redeem my lostness, and to reenter community, I still just don't know. But, tonight, I choose to start climbing. Again. I've climbed out of this darkness before, why do I have to fall and climb again? I don't know. But, I'll climb anyway.
Because not only is "The Lord my light," but "The Lord is my light and my salvation." Whether I see it yet or not, even when my faith has yet to sprout eyes, I know that He already saved me from all my enemies -- even myself and my personal darkness that I clutch without abandon.
"Whom shall I fear?" Me, of course -- the one who drags me down and apart and alone. Failure, disappointment, never changing, never knowing community, always being a less than. Of course I am scared when these suck my lifebreath.
None of those are God's name, His presence, who He is, or who He ransomed. I know this and yet I'm paralyzed. But, I know He's not; instead He "is the strenth of my [Ana's] life." While terrified, tonight I choose to remember this.
I have feared when armies camped against me and have held no confidence when war rose against me (Ps. 27:3). I haven't seen my enemies stumble and fall -- indeed they have eaten up my flesh. But, if I'm honest, if I choose to remember, my God has crushed my enemies at other times and I haven't seen the end of this battle yet. Amazing above all else is that He somehow still loves me in my petrified doubt and my screaming silence.
This psalm ends with a call to "Be of good courage," and I wouldn't need this courage if I wasn't afraid. But, if courage is doing the right thing even when scared, then I must choose to start doing.
Tonight I choose to see light -- I choose faith.