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From Darkness to Light: How I Began to See God

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Back when God didn’t have a face, the distance between heaven and earth felt cosmic. I could pray as hard as I wanted, but it didn’t stop the bad things from happening. I could walk into darkness, praying for light to shine brighter. Only to fall asleep in the dim. Only to become erased to a sliver of a memory of brightness, shining, radiance.

I could cry, cry, cry out to God. Some celestial man who was supposed to be entirely good and completely in control and could theoretically make all wrongs right. And so I did. I cried, cried, cried.

I said,

HEY! Look down here! Look at this horrendous stuff happening? War, abandonment, slavery, marginalization, crippling poverty. Where are you? What are you doing? Why aren’t you here? Show your face.

Show your goddamn face.

I want to see your eyes looking right at me, seeing me and this hell hole.

I want to find your ears open and bent down to hear me screaming your name.

But all I can see is a face with no eyes. No ears.

You don’t care. You could care, but you don’t. Obviously, because you’re acting like you’re far away. Ignoring. Apathetic. Heartless. Cold. Stiff. Passive.

Well, I could f*cking care less.

I’m serious. Those were my heart prayers. And I was serious. Mostly. Except there was still part of me that needed God to care.

Here’s my story.

When I was little, my dad had half a face. One eye open, the other just a slit. One side of his mouth could lift. The other was always flat. Straight line. One whole side of his face silent, unresponsive, unmoving.

I couldn't read him physically, understand him, sense him responding to me. And, shoutout to mental health and a wholllllle bunch of DESTRUCTIVE lies and deception from the Accuser. Emotional understanding and support from my parents was MIA. We’ll just leave it at that.

Welp, we buried all that stuff in childhood for a while. Cue 2021.

I went away. I went into the darkness. Flew eight thousand miles away to a distant land to study it for myself. Because I was curious. I wanted to know. Wanted to understand better. The world. Empathize. Have the eyes to see and the ears to hear the cries and prayers of the broken.

Enter the now infamous Spring of 2021 when Alyssa studied human trafficking and failing systems of care for vulnerable populations in Thailand. I know, I know. It’s a lot. Ugh, it’s really so much. I mean. I can’t even begin to go into it.

But here’s what became of me.

I saw a world stripped of hope. It was bleak. Helpless. Powerless. Run absolutely, completely ragged. Overturned.

And we were abandoned in it. Because there I was, crying out to my good God. And he only had a blank face. Nothing. Zilch.

And I was silently, numbly, apathetically, compassion-fatigue-ridden-ly F U R I O U S.

I began to hate heaven.

It’s crazy, how this happens in the day to day. Our view of heaven erodes as we raise our hopes, only to get silence.

How do we get out? Where is the light? Is the light only darkness, too?

That’s the thing. It cannot be. If there is no such thing as light, then all is lost. There has to be light. There has to be hope. Goodness. Something, something, SOMETHING—even a tiny, small something—steady to stand on in storms.

How do we get the light? Do we cry louder? Do we buckle down and do it ourselves like the little loner, orphaned hearts we knew we were all along? Pardon my abrasiveness.

Yes, I know, my friend. It’s hard as hell. But, can’t we leave all that worthless striving behind?

What if this is the key to finding heaven on earth? And finding it to be sweet, beautiful, satisfying, good, rewarding, sustaining—not disaster. Disappointment. Abandonment—like the rest of life.

What if it’s the mustard seed? The one little thing that you know for sure, for sure. Or even if you don’t, act like it’s got to be true. And it grows. It becomes true. Becomes reality.

I used to hate the horrendous, passive face I saw of God, because that’s all I could see.

But then I started to relearn how to see. I began to make room for truths first, even before I could see them as real, trustworthy, steady. And take off the stuff that was clouding my vision.

For two whole months, I did it. Every morning. Sixty plus days.

God, I will quit believing you’re distant, disinterested, insensitive, uncaring, stern. I’ll reject the lie that you’re demanding, passive, cold, absent, too busy for me—never satisfied with me. Impatient, annoyed, angry. Mean, cruel, abusive. Seeking to strip goodness from me. Controlling, manipulating. Condemning, unforgiving.

This is what I did! It was my liturgy.

And the other end. Putting on that stuff that felt so foreign and so unfamiliar to my heart and life and eyes (even though I “knew” this in my head the whole time):

Yahweh. I will believe. I will accept. I will rejoice in these truths. You are intimate and involved, kind and compassionate. Accepting and full of love and joy. You are WARM! And AFFECTIONATE! You never leave me–you’re always with me and actually LIKE being with me. You’re patient. You’re gentle. Protective. Trustworthy. You want to give me a life full of beauty and goodness. Your heart is TENDER toward me. Forgiving. Your heart and arms are always OPEN to me. Welcoming me in. You’re a daddy who is just proud, just so PROUD of your learning and growing and mistake-making daughter.

It’s called conformity. Adhering. Putting on. Submitting. Obeying. The truth that feels so wrong yet you’ve got to have something to hold onto even still. That’s the only way you can survive the dark night, the dark world. It’s not with darkness, it’s with light.

That’s how I got out. Standing firmly, believing just a little more clearly that Jesus really is the face of God, and his face is full of love, perfect love. And I wouldn’t want to trade any other kind of love for anything. Because his is a face of light that lifts out of the darkness forever.

So. Can we get found? In Jesus’ love. It doesn’t always make sense. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way. Somehow beyond. Greater. The infinite mystery. But, let’s not keep blind. Let’s open ourselves to see, just a little more, this real, tangible face of Jesus the healer. The healer of blind eyes.

“God is not untouchable Jesus bared his heart and soul Our hands have touched the invisible Now God is one of us

Who could have thought? Who could imagine? This kind of love, God has blood Pouring out on a cross we made God has a face, God has a name“.

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