Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Scraping Off The Mud That Hides The Light

How long have you been caked in mud? I'm not talking about dirt, the kind that you can quickly shake off like a Taylor Swift song; I'm talking about deep, dense mud that you've either covered yourself in or had flung at you by someone else. Maybe you think that this is all there is to life, that your ship has sailed, that happiness, even contentment is something for those other people, but not you. You're just surviving, and it seems that's all there ever will be. I don't have a magic potion, I can not snap my fingers and send you back in time to a place when you felt unsullied and non-violated by the spindly cold fingers of that someone, or that system that kept you from shining the light inside. But I can stay here and say that no matter how dark, no matter how grim things may seem or actually may be, that light is still inside of each and every one of you. It may take time to uncover it, to scrape off the mud, but it is there. As much as you may have tried to go it alone, to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - something that we often hear is a noble thing to do - that is just another lie. We need others - others who will confirm our inner light even when we can't see it, others who won't provide easy answers, but will sit there with us as we scrape off the mud. The priest and author Henri Nouwen was wise when he wrote that we must be careful where and with whom we share our pain. If we are not on the road to healing - be that through professional help or some other aid - we may soon find ourselves bleeding all over the place and feeling that many people are walking away with different parts of ourselves. Cry inward, he writes, and the inner light that you do still possess will eventually pierce the darkness.

This is not the end, no matter how dark, dank, and devastating as this may be. Let us begin again and again and again.

Mark Andrew Nouwen


barefootbellringer said...

Beautifully said my friend. Thank you for this.

Mark Andrew said...

You're welcome, A.B. !