Passion: the Thinnest Place of All

Footprint on a path of Passion

Mark 14
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

We give ourselves over to bright passions:
others, love, causes,
places, dreams, ideologies,
hopes, the past, the future,
church, clubs, health—life…
And, we give ourselves with passion.
Then, something changes
and the shift is not pleasant,
and we feel loss,
betrayal, like we’ve been tricked.
We sulk, we think about revenge,
we swear we’ll never do
“anything as stupid as that again!”
But the truth is that we hurt,
we feel empty, miserable,
sick, and we sense a darkness
in the betrayal—a dark passion— that is deep
and frightening.
The sequence of Easter,
from garden to trial
to cross to tomb
to Easter Morning
the story of how our lives
experience our own existence.
We can find hope in our despair,
vindication in our failures,
resurrection out of our own moments
of dark passion.


6 thoughts on “Passion: the Thinnest Place of All

  1. Hmmm. This series has evoked responses from me on 3 of the 4 posts. Guess I feel just how thin my margin for survival here really is. But a calling never promises easy or safe.

    In 2004, I was still trying to fit in somewhere. In grad school at JSTB as a non-traditional student (older,) non-Catholic. Non-obviously intellectual, what with the blue collar tattoos and ambiguous gender identity. And also still rather uncomfortable with the whole notion of being a Christian. Not raised anywhere near ’em; mostly thought them prejudiced, foolish, and deficient.

    So I was an outsider in many ways. Not all of my own making. I sprained an ankle on a hike, and my mentor was so distressed he could not face me. It was spring break, and few people were in the CDSP dorm. I couldn’t walk at all for two weeks. No one at my school and only one in the dorm helped me. My spiritual partner had misunderstood something I had written to him, and cut off communication a week previous. My old friends and my family in the Seattle area were appalled that I’d gotten into this silly religious stuff. I was alone. Really alone. I was in a foul mood in a very dark place. “Why hast thou abandoned me…?”

    It was Good Friday– for western Christians, anyway. On the wall next to my bed I had a black wood Benedictine cross. Suffering and dark; yeah, I identify, sure. But I just wanted to get out of whatever agreement had brought me to Berkeley. Fear and hurt for me turns to anger. I sat up, about to rip the Orthodox icons and that cross off the walls of my room.

    Then a saw the hint of a smile on the figure on that black cross. I stared, stunned. Then I felt what he had felt. For just an instant; all a finite being could take. He was bearing ALL of the hurt, the fear, the loneliness, the terror, the heartache, of every creature on this planet. While going through the very human experience of abandonment. “It’s worth it, you know,” he said to me. No, not the suffering, even if at that point it was happening. It was about what that means– it is the guarantee of love of such depth and strength and power that horror and isolation cannot stop it from reaching us.

    It reached me. I am a Christian.
    Thanks, Hilary. And Happy Easter.

  2. Ah, Rafi, thank you so much for sharing part of your journey here. You, my friend are a rare one. Most seekers simply give up after the first hitch in their git-a-long, but you have persevered, and are persevering. AND, to do that takes more that a high tolerance for pain, or much stamina, but requires one be a bearer of that deep, deep love one’s own self. Hold the light, bear the love, keep the faith, and speak the truth–LOVE is all there is, what there is, and the fullest extent of the possibility to which we have been called.

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