“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Silence that is God

About a week ago I played a meme in which I spoke of God's silence and my loss of hope. Someone recommended this book. Well, the first page of the preface convinced me that it was the right book for me at this time...here is and excerpt from "Listening for God" by Renita Weems.

"Some years ago when, as a minister, I was feeling that God had withdrawn from me and I was going through what I can only describe as a spiritual breakdown - questioning seriously my belief in God, prayer, religious texts, and rituals to such a degree that I couldn't bear to talk or read about anything to having to do with the sacred - it never dawned upon me to retire my clergy stole and leave the ministry...it dawned on me that ministry was precisely where I needed to be because I no longer recognized the presence of God in my life..."

"Two things kept me afloat during that period of my life. One was my own honesty. I tried at first to lie about what was going on in my heart, acting as though everything was fine, pretending as a minister and writer that I had an active prayer life and enjoyed intimacy with God. That lie went on for far longer than it should have....Eventually I gave up pretending, however, and confessed to God - loudly, bitterly, sometimes in blasphemous tones - that it felt as though I have been seduced out into waters where God knew I couldn't swim, and been left abandoned, without a life jacket, to flail about and figure out for myself how not to drown..."

She goes on to speak about moving into a place where she accepted the silence of God as a new way of God being with her. That things weren't the same between she and God but nonetheless she began to perceive God in "new, amusing, laughable, glorious ways." She credits her ability to be and stay honest with getting her through from one place to the next.

My blog will be a year old in a week. I named it "Seeking Authentic Voice" because I have been this person, for whom God has gone silent. I no longer know myself in reflection to the God I have trusted all my life. The God whose presence assured me and led me to believe that all would be well. I have been sure of nothing these last few years. except that God is silent...and I'm trying not to drown. I do feel like God seduced me. Called me back when I was lost, gave me people to be my guides until I was securely anchored in the Church. I mean, can one be much more anchored than being ordained and the solo pastor of a church? And then, anchoring me into this life, God left, the wind and waves picked up and the chain attached to anchor, that which held me in place, snapped, and I've been tossed in heavy waves ever since.

I suspect the direction of the wind is changing and the tide is turning.....