It occurred to me a few years ago that as our faith deepens, so can our capacity for melancholy–it seems the two can be quite attached. I remember reading that Mother Theresa had struggled more with her faith in the last few years of her life than ever before. At the time, the idea occurred to me that the longer we press into God, the more we discover Him, the more we discover how much we don’t know and can’t understand about him. And, truth be told, we simply don’t like that. The more we invest in God, the more we learn about him, the closer we want to be to having a handle on who and what He is. We really do want him to be small enough to understand, to comprehend, and perhaps even, to control. It’s unsettling when we discover that that doesn’t happen. We just get more and more capable of understanding how infinitely big God is, and more and more aware of how incapable we are of understanding him. Our concept of Big gets even bigger. And sometimes that realization is depressing. Perhaps we need to accept that a hallmark of a maturing faith, is that the sunshine and lollypops of the Santa-God who grants three wishes dissappears. Replaced by a mysterious and wild God whom we can neither predict nor control.
And all the while, God can hold onto us, even when he seems so alien to us, we don’t even know where to hold on to him.