Greetings From The Bubble

Remember doing Dot-To-Dot pictures as a kid?  I always loved them.  To see the picture emerge slowly but surely, getting clearer with each new connection.  Well, that’s what I’ve been up to lately.  When I saw Deacon Ron back in October, he gave me a scripture passage to reflect on.  Now usually he has some rhyme or reason or some piece of wisdom to go along with my homework.  Not this time.  “Don’t ask me why,” he said, “I don’t know why.  I just know this is what you need to read and spend time with.”

After four years, I really don’t need to ask why.  The “why” where I start out with never seems to be the same “why” where I end up.  I’ve learned to just let it be.  Most of the time.

My homework?  John 1:1-5 More specifically, the last verse. 

“The light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it.”

Immediately that led me to the writing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  My priest had quoted one of King’s sermons a week before my session with Ron.

“Oh, this morning, if I can leave anything with you, let me urge you to be sure that you have a strong boat of faith.  The winds are going to blow.  The storms of disappointment are coming.  The agonies and anguishes of life are coming. And be sure that your boat is strong, and also be very sure that you have an anchor.  In times like these, you need an anchor.  And very sure that your anchor holds.”  – from ‘Unfulfilled Dreams’

I was touched to the core by those words.  I had been diagnosed two days before hearing this sermon.  I know further tests are coming, along with treatments and side effects.  I know limitations, frustrations and annoyances are coming.  I have a boat of faith but I’m not sure I’d take it out in the North Atlantic in a gale.  I have an anchor, but I’d rather not put it to the test.

So from John to King, the themes of light and darkness resonated.  I continued to reflect on that light, not being overcome.  I continued to read King’s writings and found yet another dot in my ever emerging picture.

“Faith in the dawn arises from the faith that God is good and just.  When one believes this, he knows that the contradictions of life are neither final nor ultimate.  He can walk through the dark night with the radiant conviction that all things work together for good for those that love God.  Even the most starless midnight may herald the dawn of some great fulfillment.” – from ‘A Knock at Midnight’

Wow.  Neither final nor ultimate.  That really hits a chord for me.  This life is not all there is and I truly believe that, therefore what happens in this life is not the end of the world, or more personally important, not the end of me.

Lately, I find myself surrounded by dark times.  I know the darkness is there and yet somehow, I don’t feel shaken by it.  The sense of peace that I felt after finally having a diagnosis has not left me.  Which means that it’s true peace and not just the numbness of shock. 

To connect my seemingly random dots, I feel as though I’m in a bubble of light, deep in a dark and turbulent ocean. 

How strong is this bubble?  Is it as fragile as a soap bubble, about to pop at any moment?  Is it more like the so-called touchable bubbles made of glycerin that last for days?  Is it as strong as mini-submarine, able to withstand the crushing depths?  I don’t know yet, but I’ll keep you posted.  I do know that light is not overcome by darkness and neither will I be overcome by it.  I also know I don’t sail these seas alone.