Waiting for A Sign
The Catholic Church used to teach the doctrine of Limbo, the place between heaven and hell where souls awaited judgment. Islam also has a concept of the in-between place known as Barzakh. New Thought theology teaches that these places known as paradise, Hades, or whatever terms that religion attaches to physical places in the afterlife are actually states of mind in this, our present life.
Lately I’ve been in Limbo, an extended state of indecision, non-action, waiting. And I know that I’m not alone. Many people speak of these troubling times where everything is shifting and nothing remains the same. It’s a strange place to be, riding out the storms around us, uncertain of what to do, caught between the old ways and the new.
There are many biblical references to people wandering, particularly the ancient Jewish tribes of the Old Testament. These wanderers were seeking new ground, a place to call home, a geographical place where they could feel safe and protected. Sometimes it can be helpful to go back and read the outcome of past travails. What happened to these people? How did they move on? What lessons did they carry and what can we learn from their epic struggles?
In a beautiful book called, What Keeps Me Standing, African-American grandmothers speak of how the Bible’s wisdom kept them going through hard times, of how they clung to a particular phrase or a psalm when they could see no way out. While wise teachers can teach us, ultimately we need to find our own way. Sometimes the ancient wisdom can speak to us as in ways that are deeply personal.
Limbo is a hard place, yet we can use it for our good. We can learn. We can walk in faith. There will come a day when life moves us on or a day when we feel a thread of love and we simply follow it.