It is an hour past midnight and the computer lab around me is filled with intermittent laughter and conversations in languages I don't understand. I am struggling with God's absence from my life, again, and I am struggling with the way to express this absence.

Because, what if some of us were meant to be apart from Him? I was raised Catholic. I was taught that Hell was not a place so much as a manner of existence; to be without God, that is Hell. I think of Lucifer, the angel of light, the Christian Prometheus. The Fallen Angel brings to man the fire of knowledge. The Fallen Angel shakes his fist at the all-powerful One, the very act smacks of pride and individuality. I meditate on this myth, and I realize -- this is me.

I cannot change who I am. It is not something I want to change. I cannot live with God.

And there is, too, this feeling of sad detachment; a contradictory recognition of God's existence while at the same time denying that I can ever live with that fact. And I think, maybe He thinks so too, looking over me sadly, knowing that no matter what, I need to be apart from Him, because there is no other way for me to live. I look at Christians and the way they live -- they seem to be at peace. But to have that peace, that divine peace, that would make me less of who I am, it would rob me of the essence of my character. It was not meant to be.

So the Lucifer myth haunts me. Maybe he is my kindred spirit, forced out of Heaven not for his rebellion or his fall, but because God realized Lucifer must make it alone.

And in our solitude we discover what it is to live without unconditional love. We learn the truth of the universe, because there is nothing to stop our independent, critical eyes, no faith, no dogma, no preconceived notions of what we should find. And we discover, too, the true value of God's Love, as inaccessible it is to us. It is something precious, something beautiful, as a planetary nebula we will never see but through the eyes of a telescope.