In the real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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We all will know the dark night of the soul.  Far beyond the hard questions of conscience, life’s hard choices are the darkest nights, the times we are rejected, forgotten, cast aside especially by those who matter so much to us – a spouse, a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a mother or father.

Yes, even those you selflessly love and care for can turn their back on you.  Dark night indeed.

These are times of the deepest pain, those that are spiritual and emotional – pain that seems to say to you: you do not matter, you have no value, no place here. You see, more than death humans fear abandonment – but you will likely be abandoned.

Abandonment is an existential threat – it questions your very existence.

What might we do in the face of this?

Do what Jesus did at Gethsemane.

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 26, we are told that Jesus was “deeply grieved, even to death” when he recessed to the garden.  Once there he spoke with God saying: “My Father, if it possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”  (Mt 26:39)  In his grief and fear he sought God and, more importantly, he sought God’s will not his own.

Now how does this make sense for you in your dark night?

Our will is no more important than is the will and want of Jesus.  More to the point, God is in command of all that transpires here and what transpires is always turned to a greater value.  Your rejection by a loved one may well, as it was in the suffering Jesus knew, be more about others than yourself .  The one who rejects you may be the subject of the rejection, not you.  Said a different way – Jesus was not the subject of the crucifixion – we were.

The one who rejects you may well be the one in need of growth, understanding, correction and it may take a heinous act or one of unjustified hurt to awaken he who rejects another, an innocent – one who loves selflessly.  You who are rejected may stand and kneel where Jesus stood and knelt.

Rejected, discarded, abandoned – it is not likely about you, but another.  Stand where Jesus stood, kneel as he knelt – speak to the Father, adhere to His will.

Shalom.

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