Pigeons, Darkness & Mining

Watching the pigeons… chasing each other round the garden… looking at good food in the bird feeders. Flapping they try to feed – unsuccessfully…

Several friends have huge dark problems… complex life-limiting illnesses with no apparent cure… husbands/wives with terminal cancer… a grand-daughter who has attempted suicide… tough personal circumstances forcing him to leave home… slipping back into addictions…

Encountering dark questions… Why do horrible, horrible things happen to good people? Why her? Why me? Facing a sudden life-shattering event… encountering a long dark tunnel. How do I escape? It’s totally overwhelming. I’m flapping like a clumsy pigeon. In life’s randomness and unpredictability I can’t understand or find an answer… I keep flapping…

Digging for answers… Re-reading the ancient Job narrative… He’s encountering death and suffering, trying to make sense of the incomprehensible… talking about mining (Job 28)… going deep underground to find precious metals: ‘But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?’

Flapping my useless pigeon wings… digging in the ‘wisdom and understanding mine’… discovering hard rock that I can’t penetrate and mud that I’m drowning in.

I can’t control it… do anything to change it… argue or reason my way out… buy a solution… discover a magic formula….

Looking up.. I see others struggling in their darkness. Coming alongside them I observe their flapping and digging. I’m not alone! Others are having black times – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually… Understanding their darkness doesn’t take mine away but puts mine in perspective.

I keep flapping; maybe I can reach the bird food. I keep digging; maybe there is golden wisdom to be found.

Looking up again… I see Job’s God: ‘God understands the way to (wisdom) and he alone knows where it dwells.’

I don’t accept the dark apparently unanswerable questions with fatalistic acceptance; I flap, I dig… hoping, trusting… food and gold are there even if today I can’t reach them…

Musing with Job… ‘The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.’

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