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Showing posts from April, 2013

Of Pain and Compassion

Pain. It comes in many forms and levels of intensity. I was thinking about the difference between physical pain and emotional pain. I ran across this quote from C.S. Lewis: “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” 
Right now, someone I am close to {who likes to keep things private - hence the anonymity} is in a lot of physical pain. It's intense. It has been over two weeks and the prescribed pain pills barely took the edge off. This has impacted every facet of his life. Once this passes, God willing, the memory of the pain will begin to fade. The same principle is true with the pain of child birth. It hurts a whole heck of a lot, but is soon forgotten. 
Emotional pain, however, can be so insidious. There are no visible scars, but the ramifications from these wounds can have such a prof…

Of Regret and Joy

It's Sunday afternoon and sunshine spills onto the wood floor in symmetrical lines from the window blinds. And there are thin lines etched across my forehead that continue to trace the time like a map of bygone years.

I can handle wrinkles, and the fact the my eyes now crinkle when I smile, it's the regret that is so very hard to accept.

I used to be the "what if?" queen. I would spend wasted hours dwelling on all of the different scenarios and the possible outcomes that could have been.

The problem with what-ifs and could-have-beens is that they rob you. They rob you of precious time, and they rob you of any sliver of contentment. The realities of my life always paled in comparison to the scenarios I conjured up in my own head. I have learned the hard way and have become better {not perfect} at trying not to vicariously live through a fictitious life.

But, today, here I sit reflecting on my realities and the choices I have made.

Ultimately, I have come to realize a …

Real {imperfect}

I have been sitting here for some time. I can hear the clanking of the dryer over the music being piped in through my earbuds. Pondering, per usual, as I pick the chipping polish from my nails.

And why do we tend to want things that look polished and perfect? Maybe it's easier to pretend, to portray that everything is perfectly fine. And we do such a disservice to one another when we don our Sunday best, our plastered smiles, and the response, "couldn't be more blessed."

But maybe, just maybe, it's understandably the only response considered amid the perfectly straight pew rows, filled with perfectly acceptable people, surrounded by perfectly clean windows, and an alter with perfectly arranged flowers and shiny communion trays.

And it just isn't real. I wonder how much room we leave for the workings of grace in our lives when we are so busy convincing others {even Jesus himself} that we are perfectly fine.

There is something freeing about acknowledging imperf…

In Which I Fly Above the Storm

It was dark. It was four in the morning. The rows of tall, straight trees flashed by in the hi-beams. Rain fell heavy and the sky rebelled against the darkness with flashes of lightning that caused my tired eyes to squint and strain.

It was quite a storm {at least to this California girl}. I was heading to the airport. The last thing I wanted to do was get on an airplane during a thunderstorm. But it was time to come home. I had the most amazing time with one of my dearest friends. Being with her and being away was such a balm to my soul.

I boarded the small jet {so small that my seat was by itself}. I closed my eyes. I prayed for the pilot and the flight. I prayed for the family I just left. I prayed for the one - my own - to which I was returning. I turned on the playlist with my hymns and I leaned in close to the promises.

And after a few moments, a brightness illuminated through my closed eyelids. I was caught off guard to see sun shining in through the windows on the opposite sid…