So it’s been four and a half weeks since my last post, and I’ve been struggling to write this. I actually wrote it COMPLETELY once and lost the document so I’m sitting here at a super uppity coffee shop in Indianapolis writing it again… So, here we go.
Beauty and Pain.
With the holiday season here, I can’t stop thinking about people that are hurting. This year has been tough for me personally, but I think I speak for all of us when I say our world is hurting. Like, I get it that we live in a sick world, but how are we expected to be in a cheerful mood during Christmas as some of us are mourning loss of all sorts? I personally have family friends that are mourning recent loss of family members, or close friends are trying to barely survive as the New Year approaches.
So I guess my question is, how do we love those around us; especially during the holidays?
The concepts of beauty and pain seem to be one in the same. With the birth of every child comes months of agonizing pain, with every job promotion comes the sacrifice of time and commitment, with every new relationship comes mourning the past and its own set of issues, with every beautiful snow fall there are people dreading having nowhere warm to hide. Everywhere we see beauty, there is pain and everywhere we experience pain, there is beauty to be seen.
To be completely honest, the holidays have a tendency of making me cynical. The whole idea of “holiday cheer” seems kinda out of place when I think of where society is at. Then I think about how some of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever experienced come after excruciating pain. Like, why does it take a tragedy to remind us of the beauty of humanity? Why does it take another school shooting or bombing to remind us that racism is a futile tool of the ignorant?
Beauty and Pain seem to be tools that God only knows their purpose, but I think to some extent, both bring out the beauty in us. Regardless of what has happened to you this past year, regardless of who has hurt you or who you’ve lost, don’t let that circumstance steal your ability to love. Don’t let our world turn you cold.
I know that comes off as a weird, and weak sentiment, but those words I think have the potential to change our perspective on suffering. The picture tagged in this post was a small glimpse of me witnessing someone who chose joy. I have no idea what these two talked about or what they even had in common, but with a brutal 19 degrees outside, both left their long conversation with a smile. Personally, Jesus gives me joy. The fact that my relationship with him promises something more than this world one day is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes. But if you’re not a fan of Jesus that’s fine, share with me what brings you joy sometime!
I don’t know what you are going through, but I do know if you’re reading this, things aren’t as bad as they could be. You are loved.
Choose Joy my friends.