Messy Life…Merciful God

“I have had to accept the fact that my life is almost totally paradoxical. I have also had to learn gradually to get along without apologizing for the fact, even to myself…  I have become convinced that the very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God’s mercy to me: if only because someone so complicated and so prone to confusion and self-defeat could hardly survive for long without special mercy.”

Thomas Merton

Truth…after all these years, I am still afraid of the dark.

Oh, I talk a good game, stating proudly that I love the dark that I am okay with it, with not knowing, with the unknown.  But that’s a load of crap.  I hate the dark.  Specifically, I loathe the reality of “not knowing.”  I find no comfort in that sacred place.

I have found that the words of Dorothy Day ring true, reminding us that it is best to travel light through the darkness.  I say it is good to do so because I need my hands in the darkness, groping for security, feeling my way through it the way a newly blind person fumbles through Braille. Slowly, methodically, with intention.

The darkness of my heart – the anger, the fear, the lack of trust in God despite evidence to the contrary – makes my life ‘feel’ messy.  I want my life, and my faith, to be neat and tidy.  But that it would seem is as improbable as it is impossible.

When my life feels messy, there is this thought that rattles around my head with jarring significance and it goes like this – sometimes I feel that God is this All-pervasive Reality I have yet to actually experience, much less “know.”

I mean, I “know” Jesus.  I love Him.  I follow Him, however feebly.  But I do so like a child in a mud puddle – messy, splashing about, mud and earth and water colliding all about me.

But then that noise subsides, and above the din I hear the repetitive whisper, “mercy, mercy, mercy, all is enveloped in Mercy…”

One thing is certain, the messier my life gets the more merciful God seems.  I sense the reason that is due to this truth: the messier and more mistake prone I get, the more I am in dire need of God’s Mercy that is available always and forever.  The more I am ‘human’ the more I need and therefore am open to Divine Love.  When I am at my lowest, it is ‘easier’ to look up and ask for mercy.

It’s easier to surrender when I run out of bullets.

It’s a shame that it takes my increased messiness and mistakes to be the catalyst provoking my need of God’s divine mercy, but I am human.  I am trying daily to put myself in a position living conscious of and present to God’s infinite mercy rather than waiting for fox holes and disasters.

Spiritual crisis prevention is far better than crisis management.  In prevention mode, I am more aware of God in all my dealings rather than my usual state of forgetfulness.  And as I grow in a deeper daily awareness of God, the self made messiness seems to give way to a mercy filled life; still messy, but steeped in the ever-present reality called the mercy of God.

 

 

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