Friday, June 12, 2015

Addendum to Blessings by Laura Story

I have been singing the words to that song a lot lately, but found myself bothered by the line

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You are near.

Outside of the poetic hyperbole, I would say that sleepless nights are due to anxiety, and anxiety is a sin, according to both Jesus and Paul.  If not a sin (my own hyperbole), anxiety is not desirable and not a show of faith. 

Dark nights of the soul are real and all saints have them (or most, again hyperbole), but three years of tossing and turning is a medical condition and a sign of deep distress.  There would be no place for this kind of fear if one is trusting God.  Pietistic religion, which I have had more than enough of in my life, is just the flipside of mysticism, where too much emphasis is placed on experience--of feeling God's presence instead of just accepting it, knowing it, believing it regardless of how one feels.

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