I have had several bouts of major depression in my life. I encountered weeks, months of extreme lifelessness. Paul Tillich describes God as the “ground of my being”. It was in those times of depression where I felt as if I was in a free fall for my life. Where God seemed absent, therefore, there as no ground to catch me or allow me to crash into. The only thing that seemed true, was there was very little that was actually true.
I have come to believe in a paradox in my life. When I move closer to the light, I am actually moving towards the darkness at the same time. If the light is God, then I am moving towards God, and, all that God entails. In my own inner journey, that free fall, helped me feel the great expanse and abyss of my own being. And, because I know the capacity of my own darkness, I know that same capacity also exists for light. As I move towards my own darkness, my sin, my shame, my failures, my self-hatred, my pain, I am moving towards the light, my liberation, my success, my self-esteem, my healing. When I experience the wholeness of myself, my experience, my life, my will begin to embrace the experiences, the life, the will of God. As the darkness is conquered by the light, I know that I will be fine within myself.
But, to be fine within one’s self, is not enough is it? What a lonely world that would be. Even Jesus, who was pure light to the world, experienced great loneliness. The light is not content with itself being the only light. No, as the light moves towards the darkness within its self, so the light begins moving towards others in darkness. It’s not happy with the world falling apart. It’s not happy with the death, the consumption, the greed, the poverty, the abuse, the human exploitation. The light serves as the hope for those in despair.
My hope is that we all have something to move towards. My hope is that who we are, will allow God to breathe hope into our own darkness and to those in it around us. For this is the light of the world. May we experience the wholeness of God within ourselves and around us today, whatever that looks like.