Recently, I’ve been enjoying several musicals. I watched Hamilton on Disney+ about a year ago, and I started listening to the soundtrack on repeat afterwards. My love for Hamilton would’ve died if it weren’t for the paper I wrote on it in my first semester English class last semester thanks to an assignment to write a movie review. One musical ended up leading to another. My YouTube recommendations ended up recommending other musicals, and my love expanded to Six, Beetlejuice, and Hadestown.
If you’re not familiar with Hadestown, it is about the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. In this particular retelling, Eurydice falls in love with Orpheus and then is tricked by Hades to go to work for him in Hadestown. Orpheus, out of love for her, goes down to the hellish Hadestown. He ends up deeply traumatized by the realization she signed her soul away on papers, and he is treated horribly by Hades’ workers. When Orpheus finally succeeds in softening the old king’s heart, his own heart has turned to paranoia.
The king tells him he can leave, but they will be walking in the pitch darkness single file. Orpheus will be in the front, and Eurydice in the back, this to test the boy’s trust in his lover. He couldn’t turn back, to ensure she was with him. As the play progresses towards its ending, Orpheus is driven mad by the fact he cannot see Eurydice. She continues singing words of love for him, but he can’t hear her. He ends up turning back just to see her face.
She wasn’t able to finish the sentence she was singing.
The way my faith life has been has felt a bit like Orpheus trusting in Eurydice’s desire to be with him, and in her love for him. Like him, I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting God will be there for me and hoping I’m not naive or crazy. What if I find out my blind faith in the presence of God was wrong? What if I am alone? What if I’ve been abandoned?
I feel alone facing the darkness of this world around me. But perhaps I’m merely walking single file, with the invisible God behind me. Seeing all the hate around me, all the corruption, and greed, and objectification, it has made me wonder if those created in the image of God are Good, and by extension, if God is Good. A large portion of why I don’t feel happy around atheists is simply because they make me wonder if they’re right and I’m wrong. Maybe I am crazy for believing in God’s promises, believing that no matter how dark it looks the darkness is going to be defeated.
Except, death looks pretty permanent. The question on my heart is whether the Resurrection is true. I need to know or at least believe it’s true. How I long for Easter in a world literally enshrouded in Lent and Good Friday. This world looks so, so dark and it weeps with the sorrow of suffering and death. I have to keep trusting this will all make sense someday.
I still have hope this will all work out for goodness, even when people act so, so scary; when people in power beat down on the powerless.
I want everyone to discover they have beauty and goodness in their hearts, and to take that beauty and goodness and set the world on fire with it (in a good way!).
How I long for Easter, in a world filled with the deafening silence of death!
The darkest hour of the darkest night comes right before the…