We sat in a circle as we opened the retreat on transitions. I asked the group to share their names and one thing they wanted the group to know about themselves. When it came time for a petite, thirty-five-year-old woman to speak, she gave her name and said, "If I were to describe my relationship with God, I'd say it was like separate bedrooms." . . .

We need to keep the spark of hope alive in us and cry out to the Holy One from the empty places of our hearts. What feels like "separate bedrooms" to us is only that: a feeling. In the deepest center of our souls the eternal presence of divinity resides, rocking us gently, urging us to believe in the value of the dark dimensions of our inner voyages.


O God,
after all the time we've spent together,
I never thought it would come to this –
an immense chasm carved between us,
holding the empty echoes of my prayer.

Only a tiny voice remains
of my worn-out cries longing for you.
Where are you, God, when I need you most?
Why won't you fix my life for me?
I need you to get me out of this darkness.
I demand that you give me extended bliss.

But my demands and my desires go unheeded
and all I hear is a tender voice
whispering repeatedly, "I am with you."


Find a place that holds as much silence as possible. Sit down in that place and receive the silence. There is no need to do anything. Just "be" with the stillness. Let any thoughts and feelings that arise float away. Give yourself to the wordless silence and welcome it as a friend. Gradually, become aware of yourself being held in the embrace of a devoted Presence. Be as an infant in a cradle, slowly swayed back and forth in the silence. There is no need to do anything except let yourself be peacefully rocked by this One who knows and loves you as you are.

For Reflection/Journaling

1. Write a prayer to the one whom you perceive to be the divine Presence. If you sense a great gap or a hard barrier between you and the divine Presence, write about that.
2. Have this Presence write a message to you about your current situation. Record on a small notepaper what you sense needs to be "let go." If you do not know, simply place question marks. Hold the paper in your open hands. Sit quietly. When you feel ready, take the paper, tear it up, and discard it as a sign of your willingness to let go of whatever is required.

Joyce Rupp in Little Piece of Light: Darkness and Personal Growth