Jeremiah 20:7 is rather blunt in articulating what happens to someone who is seduced by the Lord and this connects also to an earlier passage: 17:9,10 where the prophet denotes how there is nothing more in turmoil, more torturous than our human heart, lamenting that it seems such protracted and persistent pain is both beyond remedy and understanding.
Right now, I will admit, my state is not one of a beloved who has been willingly seduced by the God who is love.
Rather since He seems to have gone somewhere and left me alone in the stygian darkness, out in the cold, abandoned, neither responding to my pleas nor whines, tears nor shouts, I feel the angry weight of all who cry out to Him and whose words simply echo in our hearts and minds, as if we were in a deep mountain valley hearing only the echo of our own – well of my – words.
This is supposedly the time of Advent, the before time of preparation to welcome Him as love incarnate, love born among us, love who said – who promised - to be with us always [cf. Mt. 28:20] until the end of ‘the age.’
Has the age come and gone yet no one told me?
Frankly, Jesus, where are You?
My being shudders, my heart cracks open.
I sense a hand on my shoulder and one taking me as if beyond geography, beyond place and space, yet not a word as it begins – whatever this ‘it’ is!
Suddenly I am in the depths of a rubble pile. I hear explosions all around, the earth trembles, human moaning is heard. The dust thins somewhat. I see a woman rocking a bleeding child back and forth in her arms. Syria! I hear: “Here I am.”
Just as suddenly I – we – whatever, the place is an alley all dark, wet, cold, and filled with garbage, the smell of rot. I see a youth, clothes matted with dirt, as is his face with one arm exposed. Hanging from a vein an empty needle. He appears dead.
Again I hear: “Here I am.”
The fog is thick, the ground muddy, and the buildings weathered wood grey. Men and women trudge about bent, emaciated, and dehumanized. It is a North Korean labour camp.
This time I admit the anger, the self-centred neediness so much a part of me of late is beginning, it feels, to melt as if I have been encased in black ice when I hear once more: “Here I am.”
On and on it goes, for how long I cannot say, from place to place, or rather more from human heart to human heart, each heart, each person, it seems, alone and in pain, even when in the midst of a crowd, lonely.
People sinning, people being sinned against, people rightly accused of some crime, numerous the falsely accused; battered women, aborted children, abandoned families, homeless and unemployed people, men and women in the violence of war and revolution, in hospitals, prisons, nursing homes or just wasting away, it seems, in little rooms all alone.
It is all too much.
The “I am here.” almost irritates.
Suddenly we are in a monastery of nuns where the women, young and old, are radiant, kneeling in prayer for all the people I have seen, then we are in a desert cave and an old priest is at prayer, finally in an ordinary home where a family, mother, father, three children are praying as night descends.
Now, each time I hear: “I am here.” hot tears run down my face, as my heart is pounding so fast, like I had just run to catch a bus!
Indeed You have seduced me O Beloved.
Yes I am letting myself be seduced.
Yes I have in my self-pity told You I won’t think about You any more or even speak Your Name
Then You came, touched me, took me, showed me how You seduce, love, are faithful to Your promise to be with us always.
Fire burns within my heart.
You are here.
I cannot resist You any more!
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