Imagine you’re John.
After all the things you’ve done
preparing the way for Jesus,
wouldn’t you at least expect your cousin the Messiah
to use his miraculous powers to set you free,
if only to vindicate you?
When you send him messengers
to remind him about your situation,
what response do you get?
“That’s right, I’m the Messiah,
but I’m sorry
I can’t meet all your expectations—
like coming to your rescue.”
Once in a while–too often–
people don’t give us what we ask for
or what we expect from them.
And like the Baptist,
we are left disillusioned.
Our expectations are unmet,
and our images of these people are shattered.
not without some resentment:
“Are You really who I think you are?
Or, should I look for another?”
Now, disillusionment is often considered
synonymous with disenchantment.
After all, both have to do with feeling disappointed
and being let down.
But there’s one important difference:
Disillusionment literally means
being stripped of one’s illusions.
A disillusioned person is disappointed
because s/he realizes that someone or something
doesn’t quite conform to an image or expectation
that one previously had.
When you think about it,
there are, in fact, occasions when
disillusionments are necessary and valuable–
if only because they lead us closer to the truth.
Do you recall the last time you felt
disillusioned with someone,
when you had to change
your image, expectations, or even illusions
about that person?
How did you feel?
What did you do?
Here is a quick survey for you:
If you’re interested,
check out the responses of your fellow retreatants.
Have many have suffered a disillusionment
similar to yours?
image from commons.wikipedia.org