It’s a terrible feeling. It might be the most bleak, debilitating, dreadful realization a human can have: the realization that you are incapable of good. Completely, utterly devoid of it. There is no escaping it, and once it has hit you there is no recovery. It is a deadly blow. And yet, it is the Truth.
On its own, this one fact is enough to drive a person to insanity. Or drug dependence. Or mass killing. Or suicide.
We try to convince this person (perhaps ourself) that there is hope in the basic goodness of humanity. That we can have purpose and meaning if we can just find ourselves. Unlock ourselves. Believe in ourselves. But deep in our spirits — perhaps buried beneath years of evasion and denial and self-justification — we all know that this is simply a convenient lie. We are all haunted by our own gaping, chasmal, disgusting insufficiency.
But what if this void – this ravenous, insatiable nothing – is only half of the Truth?
What if, instead of running from it, we could give it to someone stronger? What if we could substitute our darkest thoughts, our deepest fears, our most selfish actions, our most spectacular failures, our ugliest wounds, and the murderous black hole at the center of our existence for the untouchable wholeness and perfection of an ideal human being? What if the blow that spells death for our identities is, in fact, making way for the birth of a perfect one?
What if the Truth – the whole Truth – really could set us free?