The Inescapable Divine

Through an intricate but clear cathedral window, sky and the vibrant red leaves of a tree are visible.

Waiting is a window opening on many landscapes. For some, waiting means the cessation of all activity when energy is gone and exhaustion is all that the heart can manage. It is the long, slow panting of the spirit.

For some, waiting is a time of intense preparation for the next leg of the journey. Here, at last, comes a moment when forces can be realigned and a new attack upon an old problem set in order. Or it may be a time (for) reassessment of all plans and of checking past failures against present insight.

Waiting may be the long moment ahead when the landscape stretches far in many directions and the chance to select one's way among many choices cannot be denied.

For some, waiting is a sense of disaster of the soul. It is what Frances Thompson suggests in the line, "Naked I wait Thy love's uplifted stroke." The last hiding place has been abandoned because even the idea of escape is without meaning. Here is no fear, no panic, only the sheer excruciation of utter disaster. It is a kind of emotional blackout in the final moment before the crash. It is the passage through the zone of treacherous quiet.

For many, waiting is something more than all of this. It is the experience of recovering balance when catapulted from one's place. It is the quiet forming of a pattern of recollection in which there is called into focus the fragmentary values from many encounters of many kinds in a lifetime of living. It is to watch a gathering darkness until all light is swallowed up completely without the power to interfere or bring a halt. Then in that darkness, to continue one's journey with one's footsteps guided by the illumination of remembered radiance. This is to know courage of a peculiar kind, the courage to demand the light to continue to be light even in the surrounding darkness. To walk in the light while darkness invades, envelopes, and surrounds. This is to wait on the Lord. This is to know the renewal of strength. This is to walk and faint not.

Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there....If I say, "Surely, the darkness shall cover me," even the night shall be light about me. The darkness and the light are both alike to thee. (Psalm 139, KJV).