|The Upper Room|
..........When did it all begin? When did You begin to call me? There was a time when my life seemed to be coming apart, when I was barely able to carry out even the simplest of tasks. Inside, I felt lost, that I had slipped into the darkness of a bottomless, black hole vortex from which there could be no escape. I had tried for too long to help, manage, control someone close to me, in my fight against her alcoholism. Did I do it out of love or need? But I despised love as a weakness: I claimed to have no need, that I was self-sufficient. You were not even a glimmer on my inner horizon.
In time all doors, save one, seemed closed to me. To pass beyond that door would require my ending of the uneven struggle to survive. My emotional pain was extreme, but to end the struggle, to give in, seemed to be the ultimate folly, one more act of insanity which must surely have dire consequences. Yet the more I struggled, even to the limit of my resources and perhaps beyond, the further into the darkness I slipped.
One night I lay in bed in an upper room in a guest house. Above me hung the pitched, wooden ceiling so reminiscent of a small church. Was I asleep? Had I awoken? On the ceiling was portrayed the powerful image of a tormented cosmos. Was it, perhaps, a vision? Surely not! This was me in the late twentieth century. Things like that didn't happen any more, did they? But I watched, astounded, then slept. Maybe it was then that I heard You call to me, though I did not recognise You.
I sought an end to my hurt. I wanted someone else to carry the burden that was my life for a while, just for a little while, a burden I could no longer carry alone. It was for that reason only that I accepted the offered help of sanctuary. Not for one moment was I searching for You, for God. I did not even remember that You could have been part of my life, and love had seemingly become a travesty of anything remotely worthy of that name. With that simple, if desperate, acceptance of help, in whatever form it would come, for I no longer had the energy or will to care, the way was opened for You. Although I could not know it then it was the moment a new day began to dawn..........
(From my private diaries.)
All those years ago, yet sometimes it seems like yesterday. Perhaps it was the most important turning point in my life.