Once I had a nightmare.
I stood in front of a vast land that extended in all directions and I could not see its horizons.
There was a scorching sun that shone mercilessly, making water scarce and life unbearable. And there was also a deep darkness, like a starless, moonless night, which swallowed everything.
This endless space was covered with sand and stones, thistles and thorns, sparse and twisted vegetation that harbored serpents, scorpions, spiders and centipedes, which lurked in the shadows and hunted insects and small rodents.
The topography was extremely irregular, with piles of rocks silhouetting the horizon with their oscillating peaks. Sudden precipices appeared with crevices and caves that promised to unveil the bowels of the earth.
I should traverse this land alone, weeping in the scorching sun and groping in the dark night. This desert walk and valley of shadows was painful, with its thorny landscape leaving me at the mercy of scratches, falls and injury. In the cracks and small hiding places, poisonous animals prepared to bite and sting.
Then, I noticed that a spark of light that shone calmly ahead. As it passed, serpents withdrew their fangs, the rocks themselves lost their sharp edges and the thorns turned into soft fragrant flowers. The spiders, scorpions and centipedes came to greet the light, in communion with the other small animals, following the trail of blessed dew that the wandering light left behind.
I immediately recognized the hope I was supposed to follow and remembered the sacred word, which spoke of a shepherd who carried a staff that would console everyone. I would lack nothing. I would be in green fields and wonderful water would refresh my soul. Kindness and mercy would take residence within me and I would never feel thirst or hunger again. And when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
However, the dilemma hit me – how am I to traverse such uneven terrain and not fear any harm? How am I to walk and avoid injury, when staggering over heights and precipices, clinging to rocky edges and cacti? How am I to withstand this blinding light and impenetrable darkness?
Such a walk required a complete, absolute and unconditional commitment of faith. But how am I to manifest this unshakable confidence?
As my mind struggled searching for an answer, my heart froze at the possibility of losing sight of the spark of light. Nevertheless, however far the light progressed, it was still within reach of my hands and feet.
I was trying to solve the riddle when a sphinx passed by and said mockingly: “Decipher yourself or I will devour you”. In that unlikely place, I spent an undefined and harrowing time reflecting on true faith.
Suddenly understanding shone like a light from within, and I understood that I had to go through the valley of the shadows with my eyes closed, because there was no greater faith than that.
When I closed my eyes to take the first step, I found that I saw lush green fields with my inner eye. Living water overflowed from my heart and love smiled at me. I woke up from the nightmare and left the illusory desert of my existence; the darkness of my fears and ignorance departed.
I have found the inner path, illuminated by the shimmering and imperishable light, from which absolute faith, hope and love emanate. This path leads to the oasis of the heart, where Eternity awaits us.