Friday, January 27, 2017

Pastor's Column




                                              Threshold


       R.S. Thomas - Threshold
I emerge from the mind’s
cave into the worse darkness
outside, where things pass and
the Lord is in none of them.  I have heard the still, small voice and it was that of the bacteria demolishing my cosmos. I
have lingered too long on this threshold, but where can I go?
To look back is to lose the soul
I was leading upwards towards
the light. To look forward? Ah, what balance is needed at
the edges of such an abyss.
I am alone on the surface
of a turning planet. What
to do but, like Michelangelo’s
Adam, put my hand
  out into unknown space, hoping for the reciprocating touch?
 
     Sometimes it seems as though the world is winning some chaotic battle between itself and us. The suffering we have endured, are enduring, or our witnessing of others encounter pain and anguish scar us with thoughts of abandon. It can seem like we’re in this alone, as if life’s only goal is to make it through each day without too much conflict. However, when we find ourselves encompassed by suffering, anxiety, doubt, or fear, we are beckoned like Thomas in this poem to stretch out our hands in hope.
     Though this poem ends with a bit of uncertainty, as do most things in life, our hope is in knowing that the hand of Christ meets our suffering. When we reach out in desperation, out of hope and longing for peace, especially when it feels as if life is unbearable, we have a God who is most present. You see, too often our humanity interferes with the presence of the Spirit, and utilizes the suffering we are momentarily facing as a means to cast a thick callus over our eyes, our hearts, and our minds preventing us from experiencing the presence of the Giver of Peace. This is the darkness we face when we are overcome by fear and anxiety.
     However, when we look to the cross of Christ we are assured that our God has endured and continues to endure all things with us. The love of God remains for us an anchor, the ground of our hope and faith in time of need. There is no doubt that the pain is real and the questions remain, but we can always run to the Father, stretch out our hands, and find strength and help in time of need. To this the Church has been called into action to be, for those who are suffering, witnesses of the love of God that is most certainly present, real, and alive forever resurrecting dry bones back to life.
Faithfully,

Matt

 
 
 
 
 

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