Monday, 2 June 2008

Behind the Bruising

"When I look inside, I feel the scars, the weight of life marked by pain,
but my eyes, though wet, open to gaze upon the grandeur and vista that surrounds me,
that resonates so deeply that my being here, my knowing the joy and agony,
is no mistake -
there is a weave to every touch, to every thought, that affirms a reality filled with meaning".


How do we feel when we see someone we love become ravaged by something or someone in a manner which lacerates their life with misery or cruel intent? Do we merely sit at a distance and benignly accept what transpires as a consequence of such malevolence, or do we become fixed in our souls to intervene - to act to end such a tyranny?
Love motivates us to be indignant of such wickedness.

Within our own feelings, then, in such instances, we can begin to find an answer as to why God's anger is by no means contrary to His love - it springs from His 'reaching' to His children, to release them from a cruelty far deeper than any human cruelty.
Anger at this comprehensive evil - which has made us all strangers in an alien land- derives from His righteous desire to see an end to all which prevents genuine peace and total integrity, in all that we are and all that we do.

When something dire comes upon us, we express our desolation, our need for aid, through our cries and our tears. We weep when we feel the 'wrongness' of loosing one we love, when we bring out something about ourselves hard to bare, when we are angry with some ugly truth. We cry because of the brokenness inside, and also, on occasion, to express a joy beyond words - to let out the deep things, that seem to come from another place, the spiritual part of us.

How does it, then, make sense, to deny that reality, to say that there is no real value, no meaning, behind this 'deeper place' within us all?

Nothing hurts us more than deceit and betrayal - both of ourselves and others - so why would we buy into a folly which denies such a truth isn't a profound reflection of the one who made us?
If we become hurt and damaged by such misery and corruption, why would we expect God to be any less effected by our betrayal when we deny ourselves by denying Him - by not understanding that He is rightly angry at such ugliness?

Violence is never undone by denying the crime.
It can also never be resolved by blind vengeance.

"The true opiate" wrote Milosz, "is the belief in nothing after death - the solace of thinking that all of our betrayals, greed, cowardice and violence are without resolve".
God's image in each of us, expressed behind our tears, tells us otherwise. Our deeds are imperishable.

Selfishness is a murder which twists and distorts our humanity - it invites us to wallow in an illusion of indulgence without value - to kill ourselves in a death of a thousand pretenses.
Hell is the realm where such illusions are forever replaced with the horror of realizing what has been lost - ourselves.
It is the place of people without faces, where all identity is void of its significance and meaning.
It is eternal enslavement to our own destructive, miserable choices to abandon a deeper reality.
Hell is when God gives us up to our own pathetic selfishness to be much less than we were created to be.

Life teaches us that all which is of value comes when we truly love another. This defines our reason for being here. The same is true eternally. We are designed to be defined by an infinite relationship of love with our Lord and Creator. We have walked away from this, but God has come after us to restore us, to make the relationship whole once more.

When we care to look, deep in our broken souls, amidst the pain of our grand delusions, we can know a resonance once more with the one who heals the broken hearted, who waits to visit us with His goodness and mercy, that one day, our every tear will be something long gone.

Draw near to such a redeemer, and He will set you free.


Steve said...

Wonderful words here , Howard.

Painfully wonderful.

They bring to mind and heart those deeds of evil that I have done wittingly or not, that have affected not only my own well being but that of those around me, who's lives will never be the same because of my selfishness.

As you say, it would be a never ending torture were it not for our Lord Jesus.

In Him, and Him alone is the healing balm for our sin laden souls.

Thanks, my Friend.

- Steve

Sensuous Wife said...

I don't know how you do it, Howard. Consistently come up with words and ideas so beautiful and profound and deeply meaningful they leave me speechless. And hardly anything leaves me speechless.

I think it's all the reverence and wisdom born from suffering and allowing Himself to shape and heal you. Howard, if you did not speak, something precious would be lost.

Sometimes beauty is a solemn heavy weighty radiance. Sometimes beauty is a sparkling playful water sprite full of giggles and cool breezes. Your writing is primarily the first. My writing is primarily the second. The diversity of Himself's beauty is, well, beautiful. Admiring other's art that is so marvelously other has made me rich in my soul. Thank you.

Howard said...

Thank you, Steve & SW, for your encouraging feedback.

Steve - we know it has to be about applying that healing balm...grace in time of need.

SW - the marvel and the awful truth, of course, is that the beauty is already there, and if we're fortunate, our eyes are open to this, and occasionally, we manage to adjust a broken shard in such a way that it reflects something of that towards another.
Thankfully, He allows us to end our merely stumbling in darkness and see such marvelous light.

Caroline said...

Howard - amazing words, especialy at this time of year.
Bless you