Disagree with the Dark!

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Photo courtesy of handsofintegration.com

Has anyone ever built you up in their minds to be someone you are not?

I had this happen to me recently — not just to me, but to someone I love as well. This certainly isn’t the first time this has happened to me, but it was the first time I was alongside someone else and could see clearly that the person this individual was seeing when he looked at my loved one was not the person I saw and knew at all. It didn’t matter what I said in our defense and I knew better than to try, honestly — he was so lost in his mythology of who we were that my words bounced off unheard. As it so happens, I truly love that person as well. He is unable to see it; in his eyes, I am a monster who despises him, judges him, looks down on him and would take away the things he loves if I could.

This is not who I am at all. I love him. I genuinely worry about him. I am afraid for him in this life while trusting God implicitly with him in the next. But there is no convincing him of that at this time at least.

I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences with a loved one — a child, a sibling, a parent, a friend.

And I wonder, how often do all of us do this when we look at, or consider, God? How often do we see a monster instead of the unconditionally loving person cradling us? How often are we so lost in our own mythologies when it comes to God that all his attempts to reach us by standing always not just before us, but lovingly sharing the very space we occupy, fail because we don’t see it? How often do his loving words to and thoughts toward us bounce off us unheard as we continue through life, feeling alone and vulnerable, in an unseeing haze?

This is some of what trinitarian theologian Baxter Kruger refers to as “making agreements with darkness.”

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Photo of a broken beaver dam courtesy of Carol for Peace.

Over the last several years the Holy Spirit has been revealing himself to me in profoundly personal ways, awakening me, loving me, revealing to me who I am in Jesus, and encouraging my heart.  Thank you, Holy Spirit, I will have more please.  Brothers and sisters we are in a war.  We have an enemy, cowardly as he is.  He knows he has been defeated in Jesus, and he knows that we don’t know much of Jesus’ victory.  The enemy deceives us, and then hides his deception, so that we don’t know that we have made agreements with him and his darkness. As we get hints of his schemes we are attacked with accusations and assaults.  The picture that the Holy Spirit has given to me is of a beaver dam, with hundreds of limbs and twigs interwoven on top of large logs at the bottom.  This beaver dam is formed by the agreements we have made with darkness throughout our lives. (Simply ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the agreements that you have made, and then break them in the name of Jesus).  This beaver dam holds back the river of living water, the great, overflowing fountain of the trinitarian life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that is already at the core of our beings because of Jesus’ union with us. ~ C. Baxter Kruger, Baxter’s Ongoing Thoughts (blog), Oct 7, 2013.

No wonder it is so hard for us to break free of the agreements we have all unwittingly made with darkness — these agreements are far more than a shackle, but, as Baxter describes so well, an intricate, twisted, strong, nearly watertight mass!

The great news is that just as it takes only the tiniest ray of light to begin to dispel any darkness, so does our just cracking our eyelids open to the light begin to break up the dam of darkness and trigger the lifelong process of releasing the stranglehold it has had on us within.

The Holy Spirit whispers to my heart that Triune God doesn’t despise us or anyone. That while he certainly knows right from wrong and holds us accountable to it for our own good and for the good of those around us, he doesn’t judge us in a harsh, punitive way when we fail — he wants us to learn and to grow — to be better people because he has given us all that potential and capacity for good. That he celebrates the tiniest baby step. That he doesn’t look down on us as worthless or insufficient — but sees inestimable worth in every human being, and with him in us as he is in all, we are all sufficient for the moment. That life is a journey of growth. That he doesn’t seek to take away the things we love or withhold from us the things we desire. Like you, I don’t know why life has to be the way it is sometimes — but I trust the process since it is his process. All will work together for good in the end even if it sure doesn’t feel like it in the moment.

I can’t force my loved one to see me for who I am. God chooses not to force us to see him as who he is either. But what joy we miss out on when we refuse to open our eyes.

An interesting note about beaver dams is that they are often referred to as the “earth’s kidneys” since, once broken even a little so that water issues forth, they cleanse that water of debris and impurities. The dams that we create act in the same way once broken even a little — they tend to collect the earthly debris and baggage that come downstream. So even they serve a purpose.

Let’s all take Baxter’s advice and ask the Holy Spirit to show us where we have made agreements with darkness, and to break them in Jesus’ name. Let’s take Jesus’ lead and disagree wholeheartedly, with every breath, with the dark.

by Jeannine Buntrock

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