Juliana of Norwich, a 14th century anchorite and Christian mystic, spent her life with very little social interaction. In her writing she discussed “two kinds of sickness” that block our path with “spiritual blindness” (Chambers 98).
• The first “sickness” is impatience. We get fed up with our continuing sinfulness, with the lack of change in our heart and actions. Unable to stem the flood of our own thoughts and desires, we charge forward. We try impatiently to fix ourselves and to pull God into our willful plans. We fail of course.
• The second “sickness” that Juliana wrote of is “despair, or doubtful fear” (98). We doubt if we have ever truly believed. We fear that we can never do what God wants us to do, despairing that there might be no spirit in us to do so.
When the floodwaters of the daily living blind us to our spirituality—when worldly hopes, daily tasks, past regrets and worn out grudges dominate our days—we need to fall back and calmly abandon all to Christ. “Here, Lord. Take it. Your problem not mine.” “Take that one too. I am helpless with it.” “Take this burden of guilt. I can’t carry it one more step.”
The cure for mental turmoil is not mental toughness but childlike yielding. The Lord knows our limitations and our struggles and our frustrations. And yet to Juliana he said, “I keep thee full surely” (100.) And, however stressful or dark our day appears, Christ is keeping us too. (Turning Aside to See, chapter 10)
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