Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Loss and Faith, Part I

When I started to think about all the ideas I want to explore in talking about loss and faith, I realized this topic can't be covered in just one blog post. I decided to start with a story about a song.

Several times in my life I've watched a lunar eclipse. There was always something mysterious and unnerving about the moon slowly disappearing. Little by little, the shadow across the moon would grow, until the moon finally went dark, and I could barely see its outline. When the moon was fully covered by the shadow of the earth, there was a period of time it stayed dark. Then the moon began to appear again, little by little, until it returned in all its brightness. Five or six years ago, the lunar eclipse happened on a night where clouds kept blowing across the sky, making it hard to see the moon in its journey from light to dark to light again. And yet, I kept watching, transfixed.

I started thinking about my spiritual journey. There have been times I have lost sight of God, and times when I've wondered where he was. I've even had some years when I was convinced God did not exist. My life was clouded by the shadow of grief, and I could not see God through that darkness. I am thankful I was put into a place where He began to speak to me through the love of others, and I experienced His light and joy again. Since then, I've had hard times, but have realized He is always there, in His love and care, even when I can't see Him. I'd been trying to figure out how to compare a lunar eclipse to a loss of faith for about a year before I finally was able to write these lyrics:

One November night,
The moon began to hide.
In the shadow of the earth
The moonlight slowly died.
I kept hoping for the light,
But all was dark
On one November night.

When the shadow hid the moon
And the sky went black
I wondered, in the night,
When would light come back?

One morning before dawn,
A shadow came to stay.
My life changed when sorrow came
On a cold spring day.
God had hidden or was gone.
Darkness fell
One morning before dawn.

When the shadow touched my soul,
And the days turned black
I never thought I could be whole,
But the light came back.

One November night
The dark moon reappeared
From the shadow of the earth.
The moon was always there.
I watched as the sky grew bright,
And all was well
On one November night.

Shadows move so slowly when eclipses come.
Darkness almost made me think
That light would never come.
When God seemed so silent,
When every thing went wrong,
Though I could not see Him,
He was never gone.

When the shadow touched my soul
And the days turned black
I never thought I could be whole,
But the light came back.

And when the darkness seemed to last
Before the moon grew bright,
I found a story from my past
On one November night.

One November Night, ©2005 Sue Rafferty

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