Sometimes we know a thing best when we understand its opposite. Joy and grief. Pleasure and pain. Serenity and anger.
Grief, pain and anger–we don’t search for those things.
Joy, pleasure and serenity–these are the things we want.
And we know that we want them because we’ve experienced their opposites. Because life is difficult. Life is a struggle for every human being. It comes with thorns.
We grieve over a loss. We feel pain in distress or disease. We are angry when someone betrays us. And we hate the loss, the distress, the betrayal. Because hatred is as much a part of humanity as is its opposite, love.
Love, what we search for more than anything else, encompasses joy, pleasure and serenity. But real love is not a fuzzy feeling. Oddly, real love is born through grief, pain, and even anger. Nowhere is this more apparent—at least for women–than in the process of birth. And what comes from that birth is love, the miracle of a new human life.
We no longer hate the grief, the pain, and the anger we felt, because, at once, we love the child that came from all that. Instead, we forgive, and to a certain extent, we forget the suffering in exchange for our attainment of something greater.
Christians look at Jesus, the man, on a cross of suffering. In the midst of inexplicable grief, pain, and even anger, Christians know his words from that cross, “Father, forgive them.”
The truth is, we’re not promised a “Rose Garden” in this life.
Often, we get the opposite. Still, can’t we be hopeful enough to forgive–and ‘big enough’ to accept–that the things we haven’t searched for, and would never wish for, are, nonetheless, part and parcel of all we strive for?