A Voice in the Shadowlands

Iron on Iron

As you might be aware, I started this blog as a way to help me get my act together. Part of getting my act together included writing both here and in other places but part of it was also to develop a habit of setting apart some of the day to just have God and me time. It’s funny how hard that actually can be, but the more you do it the more you enjoy it.

This morning, however, I was in for a shock. I pulled out my guide, settled in with my breakfast and opened it up. I realize now that I misread the words at the top of the page, but in a bleary, first-thing-in-the-morning haze I looked down at the page and took a double take at the words on the top of the page. “Welcome to Hell” it said (or seemed to). With my experiences in the recent past, my first reaction was, “Thanks but I believe I have been a citizen for a bit now.” I proceeded to skim the rest of the page, figuring that this would be one of those mornings where you do it just to check it off of your list and move on with the day. Funny, though, I might have been ready to leave my coffee talk with God but God wasn’t done with me.

It was as though he said, “Hell? Really, mate? (Yes, God tends to speak like a Brit to me. It’s more posh, plus I watch a large amount of BBC America) Yeah, it’s seemed dark recently to you, but hasn’t it gotten a bit lighter of late? Did you forget that there might be an opportunity on the horizon? More importantly, hell is lonesome and didn’t you realize you weren’t alone in all of this. Yeah, I might just have pushed you to some minor crashes around some key people. Wake up, man!”

And, properly smacked in the back of the head by the hand that created the world, I smiled a bit. I started going over in my head the verses about friends and the stories about friends. David and Jonathan, best bros ’til the end. Paul and Silas, missionary duo par excellence. True, there are the spectacularly bad friends there as well. Job’s friends meant well, God bless ’em, but were utter rot (sorry, BBC is on in the background). Jesus’ pack all decided to take a nap and ran away when he needed them most.

That, thankfully, has not been my experience. I have found myself surrounded by loving, encouraging friends. You’ve let me ramble like so much verbal diarrhea, seen me cry (often when I didn’t even suspect it), comforted me, encouraged me, and reminded me that this is all part of the process. You all know who you are and I can’t say thank you enough. I’m in debt to you all and I am happy to count you as friends. You have made experiencing a dark night of the soul not as dark and a good bit shorter.



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