Intimacy and Eternity

The Dark Night of the Soul

 

Part Two, Chapter Eight

Who is blind but My servant, and deaf like the messenger I send?
Who is blind like the one committed to Me,
blind like the servant of the Lord?
(Isaiah 42:19)

The Dark Night of the Soul

BEYOND THE WILDERNESSES we have considered so far lie still drier and more testing times. The Dark Night of the Soul is the extreme form of The Wilderness of Preparation. It is characterized by the apparent loss of all the blessings we associate with being close to God – and it may last for a considerable length of time.

Towards the end of 1987 the Lord began to unsettle us. In a rather dramatic way He showed us that we would shortly be moving from Chester to south Shropshire. It happened like this. We had just returned from a mission to Pakistan, and had set out for a short drive in the country. On our way, we felt the Lord leading us to drive on and visit Ludlow. By the end of the day, we were convinced He was telling us to move there!

As we drove back to Chester, the Lord directed us to visit some friends. It turned out that all day long they had been getting the words: ‘Robert and Roz, Ludlow, Robert and Roz, Ludlow.’ They had even dug their atlas out to find out where Ludlow was – yet we ourselves had had no intention of going there when we had set out that morning.

Confirmations flooded in, as the Lord signposted our forthcoming departure. It was important for Him to do this clearly because, as a ‘Levite’, there were no career advertisements for me to apply for; I had no choice but to follow His leading. God had spoken, we were willing to obey – but nothing happened! I will never forget waking up one morning and feeling a great bleakness inside. It was as though I had pulled back the curtain and was looking out on a sea of fog. ‘It will pass,’ I thought hopefully. But it didn’t. This strange sense of inner bewilderment lasted for several months. Strong fears assailed me, particularly at vulnerable moments, such as late at night or early in the morning.

By His grace this darkness was primarily a private matter, and did not particularly affect my public ministry. It was profoundly disturbing! I was concerned to know why I found myself in such spiritual darkness. Had I given Satan some hold over my life? The best of us can think of plenty of reasons why God might choose to stay away for a while!

Satan has a vested interest in pursuing such promising lines of self-condemnation. But since God will not fail to warn us when we really have sinned, it is rarely worthwhile spending too much time asking ‘Why?’ We are probably in no better a position to grasp the reason for our suffering than Job was, in which case it is wise to skip the tricky questions. Were God to explain the purpose of a trial it would destroy its object anyway, which is to draw us into an ever-deepening attitude of trust. Better to use the sense of emptiness as a challenge to seek God – and to concentrate on loving others more wholeheartedly.

For the time being it felt like playing ‘Hide and Seek’, with God doing most of the hiding. Augustine neatly sums up what sounds at first like an unfair paradox: ‘O God, You seek those who hide from You, and hide from those who seek You.’

The ‘greyness’ drove me to seek God ever more urgently. By the end of most days I could look back and see that God had indeed done something precious in the course of it. But by the following morning – there would be the greyness again!

There were, of course, breathing spaces; rather like those times when the sun breaks through the clouds and bathes the countryside in its golden light. For the most part, however, I felt deprived of His comforting presence and the day to day awareness of His leading – and I missed this very much indeed.

Making Sense of the Dark Night

I seek Him and He won’t be found; He turns a deaf ear to my sighs and moaning.
‘Tell me who You are and what You want,’ I say to Him.
‘Make Yourself known and then let me die.’

I am uncontrolled almost to the extent of being rude to Him.
I end up by calling Him cruel, but immediately afterwards beg His pardon.

Some of the things I say are prompted not by anger but by so much love.

(Gemma Galgani)1

My reason for sharing this experience (which often lies towards the end of the Ascent of Toil) is to help others to make sense of feelings which seem totally bewildering. More than we are usually able to appreciate at the time, the ‘dark night’ is a well-charted path that many have walked. Originally used by the Spanish mystic John of the Cross, the ‘dark night of the soul’ is a term which has become widespread to describe prolonged periods when our senses are shut down to the point where we can no longer feel the Lord’s presence.

Let me stress again that this is entirely different from the darkness we experience in the ‘Wilderness of Sin’ which comes as the result of our own stupidity. During a ‘dark night’ experience, prayer is dull and Bible-reading an effort.

Verses that once lit up to us in a haze of glory now appear wreathed in a sea of mist. Worse still, disturbing lusts and other feelings we had thought long since dead and buried return to plague us. During these dark nights, any inordinate desires we have been nursing (or trying to suppress) seize their opportunity and surge to the fore.

Until we go through such testing times we may have thought we were quite good people at heart. As Benjamin Franklin wryly observed, ‘He who falls in love with himself will have few rivals!’ The dark night strips away the veneer of pride and pretence from our soul. By the end of it we will be as convinced as Paul was that there is nothing good that dwells within us. Even our so-called abilities now appear to be little more than pomp and posing. The giftings of others, by contrast, shine out clearly. Henry Suso reminds us of the value of these times:

Painful and difficult prayer is more pleasing to God than one which is easy and tranquil. The grief and pain of one who tries to pray in vain, lamenting his inability to do so, makes him a victor in God’s sight.

Whereas we may have experienced the Lord coming close in the past to share ideas and directions with us, now He guides us from afar. It is rather like the moment when a father decides that his child is old enough to be left to walk for himself without needing constant support. But the father is still there, should the toddler fall.

Precious understandings concerning the sovereignty of God are put to the test. ‘Surely,’ we told each other, ‘if the Lord is still guiding us so accurately in the smallest details of our lives, He must be in control of our bigger needs!’ And He was. When we really were in danger of taking some wrong course the Lord worked with surprising speed to rescue us.

Time and again we proved the truth of the promise in Isaiah 30:21: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way: walk in it.’

When the difficult time finally passed, and everything began to flow again, it took a while for us to regain our confidence. The Lord did not need to say much about the issues that we thought were the most important. What He was seeking to develop in us through the darkness was a greater trust.

When it comes to His closest friends – His mother for example – He tests their faith by keeping them waiting for the miracle. At Cana of Galilee, when His mother puts the difficulties of their host before Him, He tells her that His time has not yet come. He allows Lazarus to die when Martha and Mary have sent warning that he is sick. Why shouldn’t our Lord treat me the same way, by keeping me waiting first, then satisfying all the dearest wishes of my heart?
(Thérèse of Lisieux)

It is precisely these delays which challenge our patience. It is the easiest thing in the world to handle these times of darkness and dryness in the wrong way and to allow anxiety and even depression to enter our hearts on the back of the greyness. To see dismal circumstances (or indeed our own soul) without the Lord’s covering grace can be a most discouraging sight. If we do not handle this right it can lead to despair. As François Mauriac reminds us:

The road to perfection skirts the abyss of despair. To the very end, despair remains the temptation of those who have not retreated in the face of Christ’s command: ‘Be ye therefore perfect as also your heavenly Father is perfect.’ Not to despair, but to persevere in the attempt, is the definition of that heroic virtue which marks the saint.

At all costs we must resist the temptation to draw back. As Ignatius of Loyola insists, this is not the time for making important decisions:

In time of desolation one should never make a change, but stand firm and consistent in the resolutions and decisions that guided him the day before the desolation, or to the decision which he observed in the preceding consolation. For just as the good spirit guides and rejoices us in consolation, so in desolation it is the evil spirit which guides and counsels.

I infinitely prefer those times when I feel close to God. I am reassured of His love, given insight into why He has allowed certain things to happen, and am far more confident about which course of action to adopt. In short, I am refreshed by what the old writers used to call ‘God’s consolations.’ Such consolations can, however, be rather like sunbathing on the beach: deeply enjoyable, but not necessarily very profitable. By contrast, our dark times provoke a much sharper longing to seek God’s face and to fulfil His purposes for us. As Jean Vianney put it,

When one has no consolations, one serves God for Himself alone, but when one has them one is liable to serve Him out of love for self.

Nothing is more nourishing than pure faith, and the prayer that is offered in naked faith is real prayer. As Carlo Carretto explains it,

‘It is precisely the renunciation of all desire to satisfy the senses that makes prayer strong and real. One meets God beyond the senses, beyond the imagination, beyond nature.

This is crucial: as long as we pray only when and how we want to, our life of prayer is bound to be unreal. It will run in fits and starts. The slightest upset – even a toothache – will be enough to destroy the whole edifice of our prayer life.

[As a novice master told him when he was young,] “You must strip your prayers. You must simplify, de-intellectualize. Put yourself in front of Jesus not with any big ideas, but with living faith. Remain motionless in an act of love before the Father. Don’t try to reach God with your understanding; that is impossible. Reach him in love; that is possible.

The struggle is not easy, but after some hours – or some days – of this exercise, the body relaxes. The will becomes passive. The senses go to sleep. Or rather, as St. John of the Cross says, the night of senses is beginning. Then prayer becomes something serious, even if it is painful and dry. So serious that one can no longer do without it. The soul begins to share the redemptive work of Jesus.

Discerning a Dark Night of the Soul

The struggles we wage between soul and body, mind and spirit, frequently baffle philosophers and psychologists alike.

They are clearly intended by God to be our special dilemma; the backcloth to our lives, and our particular training ground for eternity. So what is the difference between this ‘inner bleakness’ we have spoken of and medical depression?

Many pastors and doctors have wrongly equated the dark night with depression, and made an entirely false diagnosis as a result. We need some sort of a ‘litmus’ test to help us discern whether someone is backsliding, going through a time of depression or experiencing a genuine dark night of the soul.

The symptoms may indeed appear similar, but the causes are quite different. Depression turns people in on themselves, depriving them of normal feelings and desires. During a genuine dark night of the soul, by contrast, our desire to be close to the Lord continues unabated: we simply no longer feel able – or worthy – to do anything about it.

Following John of the Cross’s own counsel, we may suggest that if a person’s desire for God remains constant however far from His presence they may be feeling, then the chances are that they are experiencing a true ‘dark night’ rather than something of their own making. Only if they are being drawn to some other person or pursuit are they in actual danger of backsliding.

To see the true direction of our heart perhaps we need look no further than at how we spend our leisure time. If we find ourselves routinely rearranging our timetable to accommodate something we would feel embarrassed to mention in the presence of other Christians, then it may well be that it has come to assume too large a place in our lives.

Dry times also have the virtue of testing the reality of the truths we so glibly pronounce: in other words, the degree to which we are willing to live out the spiritual truths that trip so lightly off our tongues. Mourning the apparent absence of God can, paradoxically, be powerful evidence of our love for Him.

Not every troubled patch we go through, of course, is a dark night of the soul. It may rather be something in our past that needs sorting out, or some attack of Satan which needs to be withstood. We will benefit by sharing what is going on in our spiritual life with someone who is more experienced than we are in the ways of God. They may well be able to diagnose what we dare not for ourselves: that everything is fundamentally all right beneath the outward upheavals.

After several months of inexplicable battering, it was a great comfort to us to meet John Sandford, one of America’s leading prophets. The Lord gave John a clear word for us that we had been passing through a dark night of the soul, and that God was leading us to a land that would be ‘endlessly evergreen’. It was a great encouragement to be able to put a label to what we had been going through, and to know that we were still on the right track.

John warned us that the way into this land would lie across a bridge so narrow that the only way the Lord could take us across safely was with a blindfold on. Why did we have to travel by such a precarious route? Perhaps the answer lies in part because an easier journey would have caused us to lose the sharp edge of our dependency.

Another aspect to what we experienced then, and on subsequent occasions, is that there is strong satanic opposition to overcome when we are on the brink of embarking on something significant. We need a robust and vigorous faith to overcome the many pressures that assail us at such times. In the dark places of our soul, the Lord is separating the wheat from the chaff, and sharpening the focus of our desire for the King Himself. Not just on our latest project but on the need to love more perfectly. For love is the essence of the Kingdom.

I am coming across more and more people who have been through this refining process. The sands of aridity have left their mark on them. In place of presumptuous attitudes we find a deeper gratitude and a stronger hope. Less dogmatic and bombastic than they used to be, their lives reflect something of a dying man’s delight in the ordinary things of life – and a simple desire to bless the people that they meet.

God Comes in Disguise

Where now is the joy of Your presence, which I seek above everything? . . .

‘I shall and shall not be with you.
I shall clothe you in My grace,
but you will think yourself deprived of it,
because while dwelling within you I shall be able to go unrecognized.

I am concealing Myself from you
so that you may discover by yourself
what you are without Me.’
(Margaret of Cortona)

If we are tempted to ask ourselves what the Lord gains by ‘hiding’ Himself for so long, the key lies in looking at the fruit that comes from these testing times: the ‘treasures of darkness’ we referred to earlier. There came a time when God left King Hezekiah for a while to find out what was in his heart (Isaiah 45:3). This too may be part of His dealings with us.

The host of heaven observe us closely during these dark night experiences, longing for us to keep trusting in the Lord, despite our daunting circumstances and our inner bewilderment.

Suppose you have a friend who supports you in some practical way, perhaps financially. One day, without any prior notice, this support ceases. The temptation is to feel let down, resentful even. Imagine your embarrassment when you discover that it had only been a ruse. Your friend has simply found a different way to support you, amounting to at least as much as before. This is a picture which hints at the way the Lord works in our lives.

Just as the reality of His Lordship was hidden from most people while He was on earth, so He conceals His power and presence from our hearts for a season. It is as though He cloaks Himself in darkness to disguise many of the good things He is doing for us – even though it feels for all the world as though we are being made into a spectacle before both men and angels.

The Lord Jesus does not necessarily care for us in the same way year after year. He changes the reference points that have, in the past, afforded us security. All this is part of His disguise, just as He appeared in changed form to Mary Magdalene in the garden after the Resurrection, and to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He still insists that we behold Him with the eye of faith: the King of Kings, the Lamb of God, the Shepherd of the sheep, Emmanuel, the Morning Star, the Living Bread, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega. May the Lord help us to take hold of these words He addressed to His disciples: I tell you the truth: it is for your good that I am going away (John 16:7).

So much, perhaps, is comforting and enlightening. But what do you make of these two explanations of dark times?

Often it is the Lord’s will that we should be persecuted and afflicted by evil thoughts, which we cannot cast out, and also by aridities; and sometimes He even allows these reptiles to bite us, so that we may learn better how to be on our guard in the future.
(Teresa of Avila)

Whenever the feeling of grace is withdrawn, pride is the cause. Not necessarily because one has actually yielded to it, but because if this grace were not withdrawn from time to time, pride would surely take root. God in His mercy protects the contemplative in this way, though some foolish beginners will think He has turned enemy to them.
(The Cloud of Unknowing)

Surviving the Drought

No one would complain about the troubles that happen to him
if they knew the scales on which they were weighed.

(Rose of Lima)

When our inner life is being shaken, it helps enormously if we can keep our outward routine as stable as possible.

Whether we are in a dark night of the soul, or are suffering from depression, what we will really benefit from is someone who will stand alongside and support us through our bewilderment. The last thing we need is cajoling to ‘pray more’ or to attend more meetings. To tell a person who is going through a dark night to ‘try harder’ is like urging a man who is suffering from a broken leg to go for a good brisk walk!

But people may not always be available for us. This is why we must put down tap roots so that we can continue to draw up water for our soul during these seasons of drought, drinking deeply of the truths we have come to know and trust over the years. No matter that they no longer light up for us with a golden hue; the Scriptures have stood the test of time, and His specific promises to us too will be fulfilled. We must meditate on them, and take in all their goodness.

Time in the great outdoors can help to refresh our troubled minds. Music and poetry too can soothe weary spirits, and hint at meaning beyond our immediate pain. Mysterious though His dealings with us may appear to be, there is nothing too difficult for the Lord – and nothing too small for Him to attend to either.

Stay until you leave!

During the difficult transition period we experienced between leaving Chester and reaching Ludlow I had a dream. I was trying to swim out to sea, but a warm tidal current was sweeping me in the opposite direction up a river. I knew instinctively that the best thing to do would be to yield to the current, rather than fight against it. The implication was clear. The Lord knew exactly where He was taking me: my job was to trust myself to His leading.

By temperament and nature most of us prefer to swim rather than to float. We have been taught, almost from the cradle, that if we want to get anywhere in life, we have to be ‘in control’. True, nothing is accomplished by sitting down and putting our feet up. I am not advocating drifting idly through life, let alone setting off to do our own thing. Such a course of action would be sure to land us on the rocks, or in the grip of dangerous currents. I am speaking rather of responding positively to the Lord’s longing for us to trust Him more fully, and to yield ourselves more wholeheartedly to His leading.

Most of us could walk along a plank of wood thirty centimetres wide, almost with our eyes shut. By that reckoning, surely we should be able to stroll successfully across that same plank were it to be stretched between two high buildings? After all, the plank would still be as wide as it ever was – but all we would think of then is just how narrow it is. Yet we all know the gap between theory and reality. The increased sense of vertigo that comes from being in high places (and dealing with issues of far-¬reaching importance) calls for steadier nerves. When I followed the Lord’s leading to Chester I was a single man, with only myself to consider. Yet the Lord can care for a family as well as He can for a single person.

Which of us find times of waiting easy to bear? Our hearts are eager to embark on the new thing the Lord is promising us and we find it hard to focus on the here and now. John and Paula Sandford teach a golden rule concerning such transition times: ‘Stay until you leave!’ In other words, Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10). If we are faithful with the opportunities the Lord gives us today, then He will go ahead to prepare all our tomorrows. If we do not follow this advice, however, we may find ourselves beginning to live for some mythical moment when ‘everything will happen’.

Sadly, some become impatient or frustrated, and leave their job, town, relationship, church or ministry. The devil does his level best to make us opt out (or to stay put when the Lord is telling us to move on). But God also uses these attacks to measure our willingness to persevere. Our flesh screams out with the intensity of the conflict. We feel like Charlie Brown as he made his way to the information desk and demanded, ‘Where do you go when you want to give up?’

Near the end of his life, Winston Churchill returned to Harrow, his old school. To everyone’s amazement, his entire address lasted less than a minute – but each person who heard it will surely remember every word: ‘Young men, never give up. Never give up, never, never, never, never give up!’

Beyond the Darkness

When it is all over,
you will not regret having suffered;
rather you will regret having suffered so little,
and suffered that little so badly.
(Sebastian Valfre)

When we emerge from such periods of darkness, they will not seem to have been a moment too long or a jot too costly.

By stripping us of things that had perhaps meant too much to us, the Lord has prepared us for the greatest gift of all: being able to walk more closely with Him.

However much we may have failed Him, He will not fail us. There is no trial or situation that is beyond the reach of God’s love. Jesus is willing to go to incredible lengths to rescue us from every wilderness, and to restore our souls again to peace. Peter had to come down off the Mount of Transfiguration to minister to needy people. Mary Magdalene likewise felt great joy when she saw first the angels and then her Risen Lord – but the Lord did not permit her to cling to Him. We can only keep our treasure by giving it away again.

It is easy to feel grieved when especially sweet times in the presence of the Lord come to an end, but we have not lost Him forever. Standing on a Metro station in Paris after bidding farewell to the fellowship that had meant so much to me for the year I had been there, the uppermost emotion in my heart was a sense of loss, because I imagined that I would never again meet such lovely people. I was singing under my breath, ‘O Jesus I have promised, to serve Thee to the end.’ For a moment I was caught up into heaven and thought I heard an astonishing echo: ‘And I have promised to serve you to the end’. How great He is, that He stoops down to serve His children!

To drive with confidence in the fog, however, is not easy; it strains every part of our being. Similarly, if the Lord entrusts us with a dark night experience it will rank among the most gruelling episodes in our lives. It may, however, be an indispensable stage in our spiritual training. In his brilliant Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis shows that the devil fears nothing so much as a person who looks around a universe from which all traces of its Creator appears to have vanished, but who resolves to go on trusting in the Lord anyway.

We are reaching the heart of a great mystery here, which, if we can but grasp it, will help to make sense of many of the detours and delays we experience, and save us from much distress and anxiety. Like the psalmist we can declare: Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen (Psalm 77:19).

How long will such dark nights last? The only honest answer is: as long as it takes. The Lord alone knows the right time to rescue us. Just as some are tempted to presume they have been through a dark night when they have not, in reality, been anywhere near one, so we may also be tempted to suppose that we have come through it before we really have. The drought does not necessarily break with the first shower. God had simply provided us with oases in the desert before the sand closes in again around us.

One of the great wonders of nature is how a downpour of rain can cause the barren desert to blossom into riotous colour overnight. Just beneath the surface the dormant seeds are lying, waiting. So it is that when the grace of God is poured out, the Lord can accomplish a great deal in a surprisingly short space of time. We are at once reassured and cheered when we again become conscious of His presence with us; just as the disciples were when they saw the Risen Lord.

It is only when we forget that the victory has been won that we become anxious. Jesus is still there, and God’s purposes for us have not altered. Something has changed in our heart however. The removal of the normal inward flow of the Spirit in our lives has made us eager to pray more seriously, and to do anything that will help to restore us to a sense of His presence. We become less preoccupied with outward goals, and more concerned to say, do and even think such things as will bring glory to the cause of the Kingdom.

Whereas we may have been quick before to categorize and to label, the Ascent of Toil has made us less willing to judge people by appearances, and more concerned to love and serve them. Perhaps, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer suggested, we should ‘regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do and more in the light of what they suffer.’

As we reflect on how faithful the Lord has been to us during our times of trial, so we see that these apparent absences are intended to make us less inclined to doubt the reality of God’s love for us in the future. When we look back over these periods we will see that at the time when God appeared to be doing least, He was really doing most.

As light dawns again we cry out ‘How blind I have been! Why did I ever doubt Him?’ We are ashamed of our angry outbursts and the complaining spirit that has marred our union with the Lord. We resolve that we will trust Him more fully next time, and so bring joy to the Lord and His angels.

In Athanasius’ Life of Anthony, the saint entreated the Lord who had appeared to him in a vision:

‘Where were You? Why didn’t You appear in the beginning, so that You could stop my distresses?’ And a voice came to him: ‘I was here, Anthony, but I waited to watch your struggle. And now, since you persevered and were not defeated, I will be your helper forever, and I will make you famous everywhere.’

Just as the Father sent Jesus, so He is sending us too (John 20:19-21) – whatever this means in terms of mission or career. For us personally, the end of the dark night coincided with the door opening at last to enable us to move safely and swiftly to Ludlow, in south Shropshire.

Fifteen further action-packed months went by in Chester, during which we benefited from that special grace the Lord so often gives when people sense you will not be there much longer, and are in consequence more willing to open up.

Suddenly the Spirit moved, and the call became a commission. We were free to start looking for a property. Even then there were several months of heartache and frustration ahead: we could find nothing that we either liked or could afford.

When I was invited to Ludlow for my first speaking engagement, I resolved that I would concentrate on the matter in hand and not confuse the issue by house-hunting. As I went into the meeting, the Lord whispered in my ear that He had a work for me to do there and that if I was willing He would be with me. On the way out of the meeting He spoke again, telling me to go and look at one particular house. To my delight and amazement, the house in question had come on the market just two days previously. It was ideal for our purposes – and the price was identical to our own in Chester.

Eleven hectic weeks later we had moved to Ludlow.

For Reflection

Although it is by no means automatic that we will experience a ‘dark night of the soul,’ it is important to be able to recognize one. The following poems help to sharpen our understanding of God’s purposes during these dark times.

Light Shining out of Darkness
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain:
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
(William Cowper)

The Hound of Heaven
‘All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.

All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come . . .’

Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?

‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’
(Francis Thompson)

Selah

Lord, You see us in our times of utter darkness and despair
– but You see beyond them to the wonderful things You have in store for us.
Thank You, Father, that You will keep our hearts focused on seeking You.
Guard us from the deceptions and distractions that tug at our soul.
Use us, Lord, to remind others that their darkness, too, will lift
– and to encourage them to hold fast to the Lover of their souls.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

References
1. Quoted in The Wisdom of the Saints, Jill Haak Adels (O.U.P.).