God did not say ‘ you will not be tempted; you will not be troubled; you will not be distressed.’ What God said was ‘You shall not be overcome.’
Julian of Norwich
Morning comes slowly
Anxiety creeps in more quickly,
waking me up and keeping me awake.
Sitting at my desk, watching a blood red sun rise
in a smoky sky, neurotic cat snuggled on my lap,
my mind is fill with the worries of the “via negativa”.
with the ills of the world which rot and fester.
Predominate is my bewilderment over those who have
chosen to trust liars and embrace lies.
We were warned that this is what humans do, when afflicted with the
hungry ghosts of the soul.
That our human minds, brilliant and wonderful,
can also become afflicted, and dis-eased.
That we can become ideologically impaired so that
while claiming to be wise we become fools (Romans 1).
That our hearts, made for love can become frozen and hard.
And worse, that so afflicted we can end up embracing lies and abandoning truth.
Even exchanging the truth about God,
that God is love, and that God works through people to reconcile and heal,
for lies about who God is and how God works.
Exchanging trust in God, and trust in love,
for trust in malignant leaders, and trust in hate and violence
We have exchanged the way of love with the way of alienation,
the way of compassion with the way of judgment,
the way of peace with the way of violence
the way of inclusion with the way of exclusion
the way of trust with the way of conspiracy and distrust.
And it is a right mess
But as I sit, and the sky becomes lighter,
and the sun turns from red to yellow,
and the beauty of the mountain emerges from the haze,
I am reminded that God is.
That God is present.
That God is present in me (and you too!).
It will never be easy, this life.
The “via positiva” will always be mixed together with the “via negativa”,
and life will never be easy.
But God is present, seated on the throne of my heart.
God dwells in this house that is my body.
And so, though I may be tempted, and troubled,
and distressed by what I see going on around me.
I will not be overcome.