Sunday, 2 March 2014

Even the Bad is Beautiful

I watched Cinderella with Anna and Sara the other night, all snuggled up on the couch eating popcorn; at that moment everything was good in the world...with all of this beside me and Cinderella in front of me, how could it not be so.  

Cinderella says “A dream is a wish your heart makes”

I love that; the sweetest words.  Dreaming and wishing and hoping and praying ; hearts talking.

Wouldn’t it be so great if all our wishes came true; if we had all the things our heart desired, I would love that.  But Jesus said there would be trouble…He said that we would have trouble.  And we do, the whole of the world is filled with trouble.  Once we hear a story we think, how terrible, nothing could be worse than that…nothing could be sadder than that…nothing could be harder than that and then, there it is, something worse, something harder, something sadder…more trouble.

Life is hard, we all have stories; hard knocks, disaster, loss, death…this is what life is.  No, it wasn’t intended to be that way but it is. How to deal with it?  How to survive? How to come out of all this trouble with something good?

Last week I read three stories on the same day not knowing that they would be the same story, one was about the oldest Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz Sommer, she died that day…one was about Dean Koontz, a well known author of horror and mystery books, he was interviewed that day. And the other one was from Max Lucado; I read the last chapter of his book that day.

Alice survived the holocaust, she died after having lived a long life, all quiet in her bed, but in her living she suffered immeasurably, witnessed horror, and lost a life of innocence and wealth, but this is what she said,  “Even in very difficult situations there are beautiful moments, it doesn’t exist in our world only bad.  Even the bad is beautiful I would say…even the bad is beautiful…it has to be.  Be aware of the beauty of life.”

In the midst of my hard stories, I don’t see the beauty right away but eventually I do…I do.

My sister was reading Dean Koontz and asked me if he could be a Christian, she said his books are threaded with ideas and thoughts and patterns of faith…so I searched out his story for her and found trouble.  Dean was raised in the United Church but he was abused by his father, he suffered immeasurably, witnessed violence and lost a life of innocence in poverty.  This is what he said, “Everything you go through in life is meant to instruct you.  Eventually you realize that your experiences are lessons to help you understand the meaning and purpose to your existence.  As a boy, I yearned for a normal life, but later I understood that the darkness of my childhood was in a strange way a gift.  The benefit was to show me that there is evil in the world and that you have to find your way through it, reject it and find other ways to live, and not let it destroy you…life isn’t all about want and suffering.  My life has shown me that evil can win in the short run, but it never wins in the long run.”

In the midst of my story I often think that trouble is winning but never for long… soon, I find the gift…I do.

Max Lucado’s book is all about trouble and how to get through it, he especially uses the story of Joseph.  Genesis 39-50 tells the story; Joseph is thrown into a pit, left to die, sold out by his brothers…for 20 years he is lost to his family. This is what he said, when he comes up in front of his brothers, “Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

But God intended it for good, I don’t always understand God’s intentions but I try to see the good…I do.

I feel honored to have read these three stories, especially all at once; it validates the fact that we all have our stories, that even though they are momentary in the light of eternity, they are meaningful.

More than dreams and wishes, wouldn’t it be great if we all could understand our experiences in these ways... intentionally finding the beauty in the bad, discovering the gift from evil and seeing the good out of the harm...yes.

Max Lucado calls it  evil. god.good.

I love that.