Thursday, 20 January 2011

The darkness is also holy ...

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
Because you are precious in my sight,
and honoured, and I love you ...

A year ago I was quoting that passage from Isaiah after a mainly sleepless night in the hospital with Dr B. Tonight I came home to a gourmet meal he prepared and we have gently celebrated the fact that one year on he is alive, very well and looking to the future.

Meanwhile at the end of the working day today a good friend visited me on her way home. We talked about spirituality, prayer and wisdom. Sometimes I feel as if my own recent pain has torn not only hope but also wisdom out of my soul, so it was good to have a conversation about the darkness also being holy, about wilderness spirituality.

My friend spoke to me about the book Dear Heart Come Home - midlife spirituality. As we exchanged pain and hope, frustrations at the excesses of patriarchy and much laughter besides I began to piece together some small piece of hope and I switched off my computer and came home. Work will still be there in the morning. As a walked out the strong Geneva icy "bise" nearly took my breath away, a reminder winter is still very much here even if the recent week has seemed almost springlike.

Today truly I have so much to give thanks for. Sometimes gratitude is a hard and stony path of darkness, but it is a holy way and I trust it may at last lead to something that looks like hope.