I find myself recently surrounded by extremes of love and pain, of fulfillment and need. Every week, it seems, brings another engagement or marriage. Every day, it seems, brings another sad story to my facebook newsfeed, where the broken sit on the dusty digital street, desperate for love or fulfillment or something they are afraid they've lost forever. Every few hours, another conversation with the woman I love... another reminder that I, too, inhabit this dichotomous world; a world filled with the beauty of love, fractured by the lack of love, and held together by the sheer force of Love embodied.
We long for love, but most often dispense a poor conditional substitute. We long to be heard for what we really mean, to be understood and accepted and not judged by our past actions or present impersonal merit. Yet, the first chance we have to speak to each other, we give a status report on those around us, based on past actions or present merit. We base our present actions based on the past shortcomings of others, yet beg to be taken for who we are today, or who we are trying to be tomorrow.
The system is broken. We are broken. It seems we are so preoccupied with our own wounds, we have no time to notice the hurting around us... and we feel alone. We do anything to try to fix what is broken in us, using anything we can get our hands on to stop the bleeding, opening ourselves to others in hopes of rescue.
I praise God that He allows my eyes to be opened to the brokenness around me. It contrasts so completely with the beauty of true love, which shines like the pure radiance of stars in the darkest night sky. Even among the wreckage, amidst the brokenness and turmoil, that love shines like a beacon, astounding you with it's unexpected and welcome brilliance if you are fortunate enough to posess open eyes. It is these moments of luminousity that make the night bearable, until that glad dawn when the eternal Radient Love of God chases the darkness away from every shadowy corner.
Kristen, the woman who has reminded me of the brilliance of newfound love, once told me that I see the world differently, that I see the good in people. She told me I was optimistic when it came to people. I'm realizing just how much of a gift this, and not just when I see love and truth and beauty. I am more greatful for this gift each time I see new brokenness, new pain... because even as the night grows darker, the stars shine brighter and the dawn draws ever closer.
If this is optimism, then may my glass forever be...
What does branded look like?
12 hours ago