Thursday, September 25, 2008
I wear my sunglasses in the rain...
So in the past week or so the following has happened to me more than once: I am driving along, sunglasses on to temper the sun's rays coming through the windshield. All of a sudden, I need to turn on my windshield wipers. But then I take off my sunglasses, and it is still too bright. So I'm driving in the rain with my windshield wipers going and my sunglasses on at the same time. This happened again Tuesday afternoon so I ran out into the backyard to grab a shot. (Yes, it is really raining in this picture, and the little blurred spot is a raindrop).
Hmmm....anyone sense a metaphor coming? I guess it's kind of obvious, but I think it is true that we can at one and the same time feel joy and pain. I can recall many significant moments in my life when both have existed in equal intensity. At weddings I often feel the acute pain of an unfulfilled longing while simultaneously feeling exuberant joy and hope for my friend. And sometimes one trumps the other, and the pain can be forgotten for a time or the joy can be briefly lost. But in those moments when both are there, this is such a little picture of life. Aren't we all balancing between these two fundamental human experiences? Can they not coexist? Are they not common to us all? And could one exist without the other? No, then we would not be real. They are both real, joy and pain, and both a part of this created world, both experienced by Jesus when he walked the earth. We cannot be disconnected from pain, or we would not be human. As Dolly Parton famously says in the movie, Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." I have to confess I'm getting more than enough rain in my life right now, but I can't dismiss the sun. It is here, it is shining, and my sunglasses are on.