1:13He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Moretto da Brescio (1498-1554) Italy

The wilderness is that place where I know that “the wild beasts” are with me. I can deny their existence. I can fight against them, try to control them, tame them, or destroy them. But they are always there.

Even Jesus was “with the wild beasts”.

I see these wild beasts raising their ugly heads and obscuring the light in my life. I know the sound of their snarling at the base of my brain. Their whining voices speak in tones of accusation and complaint. They use the language of blame, shame and guilt. They tell long involved stories about the sad state of my life and the world. They give me no rest. They churn always at the edge of my consciousness.

But, if I shut my ears to them and close my eyes in an attempt to deny their existence, I also stop hearing the other voices. I miss the sound of the “angels” who seek to “wait” upon me, bringing life and beauty and refreshing to my spirit.

There is no way to silence and reject the beastly voices that will not also cause me to fail to hear the angelic host who sing of my blessedness as a child of the light. When I take the beastly voices less seriously, I give them less space, less power in my life. I open a space for truth to emerge.

Those dark voices will never be completely silent. But, if I listen more deeply, I will hear the voices of the angels speaking of the truth and beauty in which I was created. The angel voices call me back to my true nature and empower me to live more fully in the light even in the midst of the dark.

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What gives me the courage to see the beasts that are with me and, at the same time, to hold the vision of angels who seek to wait on me?