Pain. It is an inescapable reality, and to suggest that their is beauty in it is almost blasphemous. But indeed there is. A man once wrote that we should take joy in our pain because it produces a longing. That it increases our hope in what lies ahead (Rom. 5). The every time our lips burn from the bitter cup of life, be it by the death of a loved one, the ache of sickness, the failure of our circumstances, or of ourselves, those who have hope must remember this hope will not fail us. We long for a distant and yet strangely present reality that will erase all that has gone wrong and restore our broken world.
Almost absurdly, this tells us that those who taste the greatest sorrows of this life from divorce, depression, death, heart ache, and loneliness are considered those who may most eagerly drink from the cup of hope. They are the ones who most clearly see the slits and tears in the fabric of creation and thus are able (if they make good use of these pains) to be filled with a joy in what is too come.
I have suffered very little compared to most, however the suffering and aching I have experienced has pulled back the curtains of how I see life and allowed for a brief moment my eyes to see a deep longing in all of us... and it is that same pain and hurt that allow me to realize the things we hope in so often are only an echo of a song we strangely remember but could never compose or reproduce.
This peculiar longing may grow dull for a season if I drown it out with enough clutter, but never ceases. It almost seems like a longing for a friendship I once knew or someday hope to have, a city I vaguely remember or hope to one day live in. A longing for a fragrance i have never smelled, a woman I have yet to embrace...or have wrongly attribute to one that I have. A desire for some season ahead of me, or one from my past. Oddly clothed inside of my 5 senses I find an insatiable thirst the deepest well of this world will not seem to quench. With all my fury I am unable to extinguish this curious hunger for something inside of me.
I believe I am expressing something that we all at some point in our life...(if we are lucky) understand. It is imageless, unknown, undefined, uncanny, and yet deeply and unexplainably Desired. Many may grow numb to its calling by losing themselves in a drug, or job, a lifestyle, a marriage, a woman or a man...but when the ground shifts and when day turns to night the echo returns and we remember its melody.
Call it nostalgia, being a "romantic", a pain of youth or of death, beauty, or love... this will only send you searching for what you cannot find... The truth of the matter is, it has already found you. He has already found you.
Solomon once said "the purpose of a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out." Perhaps I don't have the understanding he is talking about. Or maybe, just maybe the purpose that this 'understanding' draws out is this... 'nothing in this world with quench the eternal echoes that call out inside of all men for their eternal God...nothing'.
And each time we finally reach the job, the relationship, the experience that we think will we find this they never live up to all we "hoped for". Only when I cease to try and make the world satisfy these longings can I begin to no longer grow hurt, hardened, or heart broken over its failures to do so. My heart remembers my God's love and His presence and as long as I am away from Him, I long for it again...