Sometimes we wake up empty, sometimes we wake up with Pain. I read somewhere a while ago that pain is a call to action, a reminder that you should do something about it before the pain envelopes you. You can’t ignore it or push it away like you’ve been doing these last few years.
It doesn’t stop till you do something about it.
But pain is also a symptom as much as it is a sign. It is a bookmark in an otherwise endless manuscript that one needs to pause and examine. It comes with indicators, like its more recognized cousin Guilt.
I know Guilt. She doesn’t feel very nice, so I usually do something to make her go away.
She often visits me when I hurt someone I love and am too stupid to realize it. Then Regret hits me with the stroke of lightning till I realize that these symptoms are little bookmarks that we must help ourselves; we must change ourselves to consciously walk the straight and narrow if we don’t want to end up waking with Pain or living with Guilt. Both aren’t pleasant company.
Some other days we wake up with Realization. She’s that smart friend who tells you what’s been staring you in the face all along, though she’s got this awful habit of being late to the party.
I’ve had a lot of uncomfortable moments with her – sometimes tangible, often not.
She makes me uneasy, like looking at a parent’s photograph and realizing they’re getting old, that they won’t always be around, that life comes with deadlines and you must do what you can, while you still can.
You know when you’ve been pushing it a while though?
When Pain, Guilt, and Realization all hit you at the same time.
It strikes a chord so deep that you can’t ignore it anymore and have to, just have to do something about it.
Sometimes you don’t even know the difference between these three anymore- you’ve numbed yourself to protect yourself.
But that’s the thing about symptoms, if you ignore them too long, they’ll manifest themselves in visible ways.
Now would you rather treat a symptom or live with a disease?
Or, God forbid, die from one.
Forgiveness isn’t always hard to come by, but one can’t lose Hope.
Hope is beautiful.
It’s what gets me to wake up each morning and last the day, despite Pain.
Hope feels good and looks better. She’s everywhere and yet, lost on some. She can be very, very relentless and patient. She looks like a twinkle in a child’s eyes and the first droplets of rain on parched ground.
Like her sister, Faith. You don’t see her but you mustn’t lose Hope.
Because where there’s Hope, there’s Love.
And Love could be written about, but you’d never do him justice. Love feels as wide as the skies, as deep as the oceans and as endless as the universe.
Love isn’t always pretty, but He was never meant to merely be looked at. Love makes you look beyond the Pain, to Purpose.
Love is being nailed to a cross by three nails (when you have power as endless as the universe), and choosing to stay there.
Love is to forgive, to nurture, to uplift, to encourage, to trust, to come together with purpose. For sometimes the Purpose is bigger than the Pain.
And Love, He’s never wrong.
So if I must choose today, I choose Love.
In the midst of a million emotions and symptoms, I choose Love.
And like there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, there is no disease that one is doomed to live with. For Love encompasses it all.
Love fully and completely.
Because Love feels like Life and looks like Christ.
And lasts, forever.