The darkness had enveloped me with a penetrating force. I thought back to the agonizing hours I'd spent the night before. But, through the darkness, God had called out, and I trembled - caught in His notice. I knew in my deepest soul that if I were truly the "model Christian" so many speak of, I wouldn't be so afraid when He spoke to me...but somehow, I was. I had grown to be distrusting - of Him, of others, maybe even of myself. I couldn't seem to feel any differently and frankly, it didn't even occur to me that I could. I wasn't sure I wanted to. More than being shut in a dark room of a house on the mountainside, I was shut in a dark room of the heart. Here, in the odd comfort of my own reality, I was in control of who came in, who went out, who and what invaded my space...and God was certainly no part of it. Now, I found that control was being interfered with, and I didn't like it. I wanted to be at the center, but everything around me was beginning to indicate that wasn't the case.
Why is your life like this? God seemed to be asking me...Why are you here?
But I couldn't answer Him. I didn't understand, and it would be years before I would. But, even as those questions lingered on, there were not enough to make me leave the strange security of what I'd come to know as my life on the other side of the door. In time, I would come to see this as reflective of the human condition: the subjectivity of only seeing yourself and the blindness of groping about in a self-created world that even you don't fully comprehend. It is the darkness of living life in your own control, of seeing things that way you want to see them, not as they really are. My experience of such distorted contortions isn't all that unlike those wayward souls around me. They too see darkly; they too want the same control. Each one can be lost in within their own false conception. And this becomes the defining point of life: whatever the past, whatever the pain - will it become a catalyst for change, or will it put us behind the door?
Over the past several years since that lonely night, I have searched, many times in vain, for significance, for true beauty, for meaning, for a purpose-filled life. So many times I have come up empty. I have come away without answers and only more questions. I have shed many tears, stared in self-bred defiance against the darkness...daring it to leave. I have pounded the bed in anger as my strong-willed control was crossed yet again, and it seeped through the cracks that are my fingers. I have turned my back on love, seized the center of my life and strived until I was spent to gain that which I thought would lead me to a richer and fuller existence. But, so often, I have found myself back in the darkness. The despair has set in. I will never be free. Never delivered.
And yet...I have also learned the path of paradox: that I am not the one to fight my own darkness. That the Light of the Devine is what overcomes. I am no the source of my own deliverance, nor the way to that which I so desperately seek. And, in the journey this path has led me on, I have discovered that the darkness of the other side of the door is bound up by the hidden sight found in such concepts as imperfection, weakness, and humility. And the ways which I so long disregarded as too low to lead me to a better life were really the only answers to the endless battles of my deepest soul.
Yes...entering into the darkness led me on a journey to the Light.