Rev. Harlan Frank Showers is a retired pastor in the ELCA. He has served congregations in Chicago, Ill. and Williamsport, Pa. He is also a spiritual director and organ recitalist.
The Absence of God as Opportunity for Personal and Social Transformation
March 2015: Dark Night of the Soul (Volume 15 Issue 3)
As Kurt Lammi demonstrates, feeling the absence of God in one’s life does not automatically make a person a bad pastor or a bad Christian. Showers goes one step further to explore what techniques a person can try to bring about a renewed awareness of God’s presence in their lives. He particularly focuses on Bernard of Clairvaux’s four stages of loving God, which Showers illustrates through an image of a “grace spiral.” For Showers, what may begin as a frightening experience can open a door to a deeper relationship with God.