Dark Night of the Soul: Evil or the Shadow of God? -- By: Elaine A. Yaryan

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 24:0 (NA 1992)
Article: Dark Night of the Soul: Evil or the Shadow of God?
Author: Elaine A. Yaryan


Dark Night of the Soul:
Evil or the Shadow of God?

Elaine A. Yaryan

Elaine Yaryan is an M.Div. student at ATS.

There you are! Come right in and let me take your coat. I was afraid the weather might have kept you away today and I am eager to show something to you. A treasure, really. It has to do with our last visit, when we were talking about evil and suffering and God’s will in the midst of it all. Here, follow me. We will have to go to the inner room. This treasure is spiritual, mind you, but I must warn you in advance that it is not very religious. Of course it used to be dreadfully religious but the Craftsman has been at work so it is taking a different shape. No, we won’t disturb him by seeing his work before it is finished. He is funny that way — it seems to give him exceptional pleasure when people see his work before it is complete. I have to admit I do not always like it when he works because from one session to the next I grow rather fond of the new shape and to be quite honest I feel resentful sometimes when I see him coming along, whistling cheerfully, tools in hand. But then when he, skilled Craftsman that he is, finishes and steps back for awhile I cannot help myself rushing in with a glad cry of approval. His work is always splendid.

So, are you ready to take a look? The treasure, my friend, is a self-portrait of the Craftsman. An engraving, actually. It is extraordinary because it has his children and his story etched into himself, hidden away within him. Yes, it sounds a bit confusing but when you see it you will understand. I wish that we had time to look at the whole picture but since we do not, let us look at the part where God hides himself for awhile. I have only seen it just recently myself and am still getting used to the changes. We will need to walk carefully. The engraving is still fresh and as you shall see, the Craftsman chose to carve it right on the walls. Yes, it goes right around the corners and into all the closets and cupboards — a great, sweeping, floor to ceiling affair. Now and then he knocks a hole in one wall to expand the room, just so the engraving will fit. He is very determined. The Craftsman has yet to reach some places but he assured me that when he is finished not one inch will be left untouched. You will see what I mean in a moment. Come with me now to the inner room and we will see what the Craftsman has been up to.

As we walk along let me tell you about the time I first met the Craftsman. No, not that pale, blond-haired fellow staring down from the picture in the church’s nave. (It took me quite awhile to get past that limpid picture and read his story as it really is.) The One that I read about was robust, a Craftsman, a walker of hills. He had children clustered about him, because he is a lover of ...

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