A doorway called lament

This morning’s Daily Office includes Psalm 88.  Despite my resistance to it, I was pulled into this poetry of deep lament and carried forward to the final words: Darkness is my only companion.

The conveniences and devices of modern life enable us to dance around that place of darkness, to find welcome distraction with a simple click.   And yet, in the end, that easy avoidance does not lead to contentment or peace.  Even when we have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, these tools do not guarantee that experience of genuine connection that we so deeply crave.

If we truly want to connect – if we want to be in relationship with others and with God – we must first connect with ourselves.  We must embrace (or at least acknowledge) who we really are rather than who we wish we were.  Those who practice the recurring cycle of the 12 Steps know the sense of “coming home” that blossoms as we reach that point where we can pray the seventh-step prayer without reservation:  “My Creator, I am now ready for you to have all of me, good and bad…”

The psalmist does something we all must do from time to time.  He vents.  He pleads.  He complains.  He blames.  His friends and family have turned against him, have utterly abandoned him.  When they are gone and he finds himself alone, he blames God.  He lets his frustration and fear and discouragement run their course.  And then he knows he is truly alone, accompanied only by darkness.  He is empty and he can no longer deny it.  Now he has a chance.

(Photo taken at Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine, FL)

About Mother Beth Tjoflat

Episcopal priest, urban contemplative, playwright, lover of hounds, American of Chilean-Norwegian-Moravian descent. Interests include transformational ministry with the forgotten and marginalized; church planting and congregational development; 12-step spirituality; Hispanic ministry; radical hospitality, and spending time with dear friends.
This entry was posted in 12-step spirituality, Diocese of Florida, Episcopal church, faith, peace and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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