Brokenness Helps us to See Beauty
Why do so many bad things happen in life?
Why do people get hurt? Why is there poverty? Why is there hunger? Why is there disease? Why do we experience loss? Why do relationships get damaged and eventually destroyed? Why do we choose to hurt each other? Why do some kids have to grow up without a family? Why do some people have so much and so many others have so little?
I spent this past weekend in Seattle. The weather was perfect. Not just for Seattle, but anywhere.
It was warm with low humidity. The sky was clear. Mt. Rainier was not only visible, but its snow-capped peak was glorious. Everywhere I went, I heard people talking about how incredible the weather was.
When you are used to gloomy, overcast skies, when the mountain is usually hidden by rain clouds, sunshine and warm weather is worth stopping and noticing. You don’t stay home. You get out of the house and you do stuff.
Some things in life are so bad, how can they be any good?
I lack an adequate answer. I can’t explain why some kids survive by digging food out of the trash. I can’t explain why some women have no other option but to sell their bodies. I can’t explain why some die of cancer at a much too young age.
I do not know why there are so many bad things in life. But I do believe that experiencing pain helps us to gain perspective on how beautiful the good things in life are.
I wonder if people who live in San Diego would have been as impressed by this beautiful weather as those who live in Seattle?
If we have felt hunger, then we can truly be grateful for good food.
If we have been cold, then we can truly feel warmth.
If we have been through the pain of a broken relationship, then we can value those in our lives today.
If we have been alone, then we understand how comforting it is to be held by someone who loves you.
Beauty is best understood when contrasted to that which isn’t.
Is your life broken? Have you experienced pain? Have you experienced a darkness that nobody should ever have to undergo?
I am sorry. I wish it wasn’t so. I wish the world was different. And I believe one day it will be different.
But through your suffering, you have gained a unique perspective on life. You have been given a gift that will help you to see beauty in this world. A beauty that those who “live the good life” are unable to see.
With this perspective, you can do more. No matter how dark it might seem, you know that light is coming.
You can help those in the middle of a mess. You can help bring light to the darkness they are experiencing. Not some day. Not when this world ends. But right now. Today.
People who have seen the light after a prolonged darkness do no stay put. They will do whatever they can to shine light into the lives of others.
Being able to see beauty in the simplest of things is perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can receive.
It would be good to never sin, to never hurt, to never break the law. But to transgress and then be forgiven? Perhaps this is even better.