Saturday, November 2, 2019

Contrasts of Beauty and Pain: God's Hand in All Things.


Why do we delight in mysteries? Why is it so fascinating to listen to a mysterious, beautiful song? What is it about a lightning storm, or a twister that terrifies and awes us?  I love a mystery.  Give me a puzzle to solve, some sort of esoteric cryptography, some trail of breadcrumbs, a map leading to a secret location!  We want to know hidden knowledge.  We want to see the secret code behind the universe.  Why?  I don't fully understand it myself. But any sort of mysterious puzzle, ancient runes upon a rock face, a book with a code inscribed in every 7th letter, and I'm all in. 

There is something mysterious and beautiful about our existence. There is something wonderful about the brewing storm on the horizon. Impending life and death seem to hang in the balance. What is light? What is energy?  How is this system so beautiful and precise?  It ticks and tocks with the best of us. Indeed, far beyond us. 

There is great joy, and solace in the winter night. There is great fear in the windy mountain pass.  The sight of the wolf or the bear is both beautiful and frightening.  There is a silence under the street lights at dusk, they flicker to life.  There is a stillness to the country road, through the woods.  

Dare we consider the glory and mystery of the human?  Dare we consider the beauty of the young woman, or the man?  How amazing, that we speak, and hear, and listen, and even more mysterious, how we come together in passion, and make life. What a gift it is, to do these things.  

Yet there is also the inverse, the shadow's reflection of this beauty of life.  There is also the pain and bitterness of work, boredom, and isolation.  There is great terror and loneliness in the Earth.  And there is a pain beyond reckoning in the daily struggles of life.  Many live lives of quiet desperation. So many, endless millions live meaningless lives, isolated, hurting, victimized, hurting others, and being hurt in return.  The beautiful forest or the majestic summer beach seem to break all too often to the rusty rotting city structures.  The beautiful heights of mountains seem so often to dash toward the equally massive mountains of trash mounds of landfills. 

These add to the mystery and glory of life.  The strong contrasts make it a wild ride indeed. I cling closely to the beauty and wonder, emphasize it, and re-emphasize it, because if I focus too much on the evil and ugly, then I will spiral into sorrow. But if I focus on the good, I am enraptured by beauty, by glory, by God's hand in all things. 

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