-A Grace Disguised
|Find light in the darkness!|
Choice is the key!
We can run from the darkness, or we can enter into the darkness and face the pain of loss. We can indulge in self-pity, or we can empathize with others, who are on the same journey and embrace their pain as our own. Or, as I have seen some… we can choose to run away from the sorrow and drown it in addictions or we can learn how to lean into the darkness and find light.
When seeking my Bachelor of Science at Hope International, we were required to read the book by Viktor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
As a survivor during World War II in Nazi death camps, Viktor observed the power of choice. The display of dignity, courage, bravery and inner vitality transcended many of the men who suffered both physical and mental torture. A few of these men chose to believe in God regardless of the treatment they were given. These few men chose to love no matter how hateful the environment was in which they lived. Viktor and a few of his friends, “turned life into an inner triumph,” thereby growing spiritually. Viktor was keenly aware of the results of an inner decision and not the influence of the camps cruelty. What he learned [and I learned in reading his book] was that life is a series of choices. Each of us has the freedom to preserve our spiritual fervor, developing an independence of our mind, even in the face of physical or emotional tragedy or crisis. Those prisoners transcended their circumstances! Why? Because they found a deeper purpose and meaning in suffering!
Suffering is part of life. Perfection is in heaven, not here on earth.
The latest book I am venturing into is called, “A Grace Disguised.” This book says tragedy can have the potential to increase the soul’s capacity for darkness and light, for pleasure as well as for pain, for hope as well as for rejection.
And yet another author, Jerry Sittser, says the soul contains the capacity to know and love God, to become virtuous, to learn truth, and to live by moral conviction. The soul is elastic, like a balloon. It can grow larger through suffering. Loss has the potential to enlarge its capacity for anger, depression, despair, and anguish which are all natural emotions when we experience loss. But NOTE - Once our soul has been enlarged it ALSO has the capacity to experience intense joy, strength, peace and love!
Nicholas Wolterstorff, comments on the loss of his son, in his book, “Lament for a Son,”
And sometimes, when the cry is intense, there emerges a radiance which elsewhere seldom appears: a glow of courage, of love, of insight, of selflessness, of faith. In that radiance we see the best of what humanity was meant to be…In the valley of suffering, despair and bitterness are brewed. But in that dark valley, character is born. The valley of suffering is the vale of soul-making.
We do not become less from loss, my friend, unless we allow loss to make us less!
In the darkness I found a new light.
Pay attention to your soul, my friend, for there is so much more than the external world!