Living in the Light

The other day a girl handed me a handful of drugs. She had offered me a sort of confession, that she had them in her cabin at the Land, and so we walked down together to retrieve a baggie full of weed and ecstasy. I was struck by the thought that what I held in my hand equaled time in jail. I could almost see a thick chain attached to it, this tiny bag of trouble. What a terrible thing it would be, especially now that I have children. It felt like a huge relief to walk to the toilet and flush it all down.

It's so freeing to have nothing to hide. There is nothing that makes me anxious when I pass a cop on the road (I may glance at my speedometer briefly, though) and no shudder in my bones when I walk through one of those thief detectors at the store. I spent a lot of years addicted to stealing, and as a result walking around like a large intense spider, never able to relax. God mercifully stepped in and I was arrested. In the years since then I have nothing to be afraid of. The law can't touch me because all of me is visible-- there is nothing hidden.

It's so hard to remember, though, in my own mental illness, in my willingness to accept the guilt that descends on me daily, that really the law can't touch me. I forget that any guilt I feel is the shadow of the Enemy of my soul, designed to steal joy and freedom from me. It takes constant reminding that I no longer live by the Law, and so do not have to live under the ever-present shame that I can't live up to it. It would be wonderful if we could abide by all the good standards God has made, but for now we live in an Age of acceptance and forgiveness. One day we will be perfect, but until then, it is enough to live in the Light and be honest about how wretched and small we are. It is enough to watch God. To see the way He does things and be so happy about how good He is, because He promised that this is the way we will become pure.

Sometimes I get so absolutely sick of my own brain: all the writhing and complaining, the neurosis and the litany of put-downs that come toward me. I get sick of battling myself, my fears, my shame. It's so good to know that my heart is always safe with God, because there is nothing waiting at the other end of the confessional but Love.