God’s not distant. He’s all too close. I do not doubt his love. I do not doubt he’s desire to see me reconciled to him. But I’m distant. I’m arresting his will. Why do I have such power? Why do I feel so strong? My sin feels so mighty that it’s overpowering my Creator. My God whom I love but can’t seem to love enough.
My strength is illusion, yet it’s jarring. The weight of free will. The clear realization of my brokenness, of how far I am from where I claim I want to be. In the moment there isn’t guilt or contrition, not yet, because it isn’t about me. It’s about the cosmic injustice of someone like me having so much ability to thwart God’s will.
I’m unwilling to call it despair. Despair is for the people who doubt God’s love, who are going through a dark night of the soul, who experience distance or rejection or judgment. If anything, I’m the opposite, overwhelmed by it all. Yet the root is the same; somewhere I have taken on burdens I don’t need to take. I have rejected hope by refusing to place my trust beyond myself.
After missing Mass for, well, every day since Sunday, despite actual efforts to go several times, I finally caught some chapel time alone. I like chapels when they’re dark and quiet anyway. I couldn’t kneel for more than a few moments due to scrapes on my knees. So I just sat there with Jesus, watching the little red flame flicker, holding on to that flicker like a lifeline.
And I knew God was patiently there with me, just being. “You don’t have to reach out. I’m already here.” He knows reaching out is too difficult a burden for me right now.
I don’t have to seek his attention or explain myself or pretend it’s all ok or check down a list of symptoms to prove it’s not. I don’t have to make it to daily Mass. He’ll take my chaplet when I’m waiting outside the closed recycling center. He’ll take my gratitude when I’m picking myself off the ground, blood running down my hands and knees. He’ll take my tears and confusion when I go home to cry during lunch and don’t know why.
He’ll met me where I am even when I find myself in places I don’t recognize.