I am in increasingly aware of the tension of the world in which we live. Beauty and pain live in such close proximity, and it's sometimes tough to have the right perspective.
Dawn Eden, who wrote the fantastic Thrill of the Chaste, is no stranger to this tension. In the midst of living out the beauty of the transformation God brought in her, she walked through the valley of the shadow of thyroid cancer. She has now written a book on overcoming sexual abuse.
She blogs and writes very honestly about this tension in life - this existence between the "now" and the "not yet." She recently posted these thoughts on her blog:
" St. Josephine Bakhita as a young child was kidnapped, enslaved, and beaten. Yet, even after being so traumatized that she forgot her own name, she retained the memory of the awe she experienced before her world was turned upside down: "Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage..."
By holding onto her childlike sense of wonder, Bakhita was ultimately able to see that even her most painful memories fell within the scope of God's loving providence, which permits evil only to bring forth a greater good."
I have had some tough times, but not that tough. And I lost my childlike wonder a long time ago. I wonder sometimes if God gave my boys to my wife and I to remind us what it is like to see the world through eyes widened by wonder and adventure, not deadened by trouble and pain.
I remember AJ asking for a pet monkey, and when told that wasn't possible, asking for an eagle. Braden writes stories that I suspect M.C. Escher inspired. Vincent just "betacks" the world in general with gusto and creativity.
Christmas commemorates a time when the beauty of heaven entered the ashes of the world, raising from it a Savior who changed everything. I forget how awesome that truly is. May this Christmas be one in which I become like a child, and I "desire to see him, to know Him, and to pay Him homage."