Posts Tagged ‘light versus shadow’

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Jeremiah 20: A Prayer for Those Willing to be Duped

You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me and you triumphed.

light-vs-dark[1]Dearest Creator God,

We know that you love us;  we know that you are waiting for us in the deep recesses of our being. 

We know that you created us and this means that you know our shadowy corners; but we are frightened that when we turn on the light we will see what we do not want to see. 

We are afraid that we will be overtaken by the thing that will leap from the dark corners in our lives.  

We know that you are constant and abiding; but sometimes the challenge is too frightening. 

Hold us closely as we wend our way through the briars and brambles of life. 

SunRise[1]Whisper to us steadily; defend us always from the terrors. 

Remind us that what we avoid is precisely what we need to see. 

Help us to be our best selves. 

Help us to fulfill the hope you have placed in us. 


First written on January 17, 2008, re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

Images from: http://chakrabodyyoga.blogspot.com/2012/06/from-blah-to-brilliant-3-great-reasons.html and http://danmayberry.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/light-vs-dark/

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Jeremiah 20: Being Duped by God

You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me and you triumphed.

46564700-1246927298[1]Jeremiah is a frequent companion on our Noontime journey and today’s theme is one we have visited often: Sometimes our great fall comes as a direct result of doing precisely what God has asked us to do.  Sometimes we are duped by God.

The interior crisis – the situation in which he hope to never find ourselves – is something we all work diligently to avoid . . . and we ought not.  It is, in fact, the very reason we are here on earth.  It is our personal work.  It is the way we arrive at our highest potential.

The places within – the ones we avoid – are the places we must approach with candor and even eagerness.  They are our “working edge”.  They are our labs, our quizzes, our tests.  They are our final exam.

The interior self whom we avoid – the part of ourselves that we shun – is the very place where God dwells.  He is there waiting for us with open joy, celebrating with us that we have had the courage to take the scales from our eyes, the mask from our face, the blinders from our perspective.

God is always anticipating our arrival; God is always on the other side of the door we refuse to approach.  God is calling out to us to knock and enter.  God is waiting there patiently, always abiding.  God is our goal in all things and at all times.  There is nothing else that matters.  No other work.  No other cause.  No other person.  This is what Jesus means when he says that the dead will bury the dead.  (Matthew 8:22)  There is no thing and no one who ought to stand between us and God.  And we will surely find God when we open the dark part of ourselves to allow God’s light into the dim corners.

Each of us has “a shadow self”, the person whom we fasten away, hoping to keep shut in from ourselves and from the world.  Much like Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, each of us has a lunatic spouse we keep locked in the north tower . . . and if the metaphor holds we can see the destruction that will arrive if we try to keep that door bolted.

Suffering follows once we open the lock . . . but so does restoration.  This is the message of the prophet Jeremiah.  It is the message of St. Paul.  If we avoid the work we are called to do with and for ourselves, we avoid our personal mission.

Does God dupe us?  Yes, God does.  Why?  Because God loves us, wants us to face our fears while relying on Christ, and God wants us to trust the saving newness of the resurrection that Jesus brings to us without our even asking.

You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me and you triumphed.

When we lock ourselves away with our fears, we have no other recourse but to listen. If we open ourselves to listening to God’s voice, we have the opportunity to respond.  And once we respond, we take our first steps toward reconciliation, conversion, and salvation.

God is in charge.  There is an Economy of Salvation.  There are no mistakes in God’s plan . . . only opportunities for God’s love to triumph.

Tomorrow . . . a Prayer for those who are willing to be duped . . .

Image from: https://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/223193

First written on January 17, 2008, re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

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John 3:16-21Working in the Light, Living in the Name

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Written on September 29, 2009 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

John 3:16 is a verse often quoted and equally often misunderstood; the verses that follow help us to unfold the message more.  We often see the bearing of a cross or the enduring of pain as a punishment when it is not.  As disciples of the New Testament, we anticipate difficulty in our work; we foresee obstacles and recognize them as familiar markers along our roadway.  Each stone over which we stumble, each river we ford, each gap in the path is a recognizable road sign that reminds we are free to turn back or to journey forward.  Each hurdle is another opportunity to express our belief that Jesus walks among us, heals us and restores us.  Every problem is another chance for us to elect the light over darkness.  Each crisis is a new occasion to draw nearer to God and to nestle into the great arching altar of God’s embrace.  Christ who has gone before us has direct knowledge of our pain and has both the capability and desire to repair, to make well, and to restore.  This Christ has come to set each one free from individual burdens, and to call the collective into oneness with him.

Paul also reminds us of this in Ephesians 5:11 when he writes: Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  Job tells us: There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways.  (24:13). 

In order to make progress and to move through life rather than stagnate, we must look for the truth when we are confronted with something that is so insurmountable that it blocks out the light.  And when we find the truth we must step into that shaft of goodness and ask the difficult questions of ourselves and of others that bring still more clarity and even less deception.

When we feel that we are surrounded by shadowy beings that refuse to announce their origin or their goal, we must search for the light, call on God, look for authentic goodness, and abide in constant companionship with those whose labor also bears good fruit.

When the darkness arrives – as it always will – it is a signal for us to take up our sacrifices . . . to bring them into the light . . . and to offer our pain to one who will heal and restore us.

It is time to live and work in the light . . . and to call on Jesus’ name.

A re-post from September 22, 2011.

Image from: http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc32424.php 

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