“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139 7-12
At the beginning of Lent I set out to investigate and possibly heal some of my damaged images of the divine. I did that through seeing patterns in my past, continuing work on the 12 steps in a small group setting and with a fellow traveler, and doing some reading. I am not going to offer my own theological reflections here because honestly I probably have more questions now than I did a few weeks ago. And I am at peace with that.
The above verse has been a comfort to me throughout my adult life. It is a reminder to me that God is my ground of being and that there is freedom there, ability to breathe, acceptance, and love. There is guidance, trust, and healing no matter what the circumstances.
As an Orthodox Christian, I believe that part of the mystery of Easter (Pascha) is that Christ entered Hades and freed every prisoner. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I hesitate to share more theology than that so I am going to quote from Father Stephen Freeman’s blog post of today that says it so well:
“This is to say that unbelief and faith are equally a part of the death and resurrection of Christ. The death and resurrection of Christ contain the utter and complete emptiness of hell, the threat of non-being and meaninglessness, the absurdity of suffering and of injured innocence. They also contain the fullness of paradise, the complete joy of existence and the ecstasy of transcendent love. Everything is there.”
So as we embark on the last few days of Holy Week, I am encouraged that the cross and resurrection are truly the BEST news, no holds barred, no exceptions. Even my unbelief and my multitude of questions are all gathered together by a loving Creator.
Now THAT is cause for celebration.