Red Foreman, from the classic TV That 70’s Show, had a patented slogan or phrase for people like Pat Robertson. We all know the things Pat Robertson has been saying about the natural disasters of Chile & Haiti. Hopefully, this is just a constant case of “Oh F***, did that just leave my mouth?”.
I think we all have that person in our life who can make the most insensitive comment in the most insensitive time. Maybe, it’s the comment about how it was all part of God’s plan when someone close to you died. Maybe, it was the person who told you that there are other fish in the sea after you just experienced a painful breakup. Luckily, this person doesn’t have a television show like Pat Robertson.
The truth is this: We experiencing and we reconcile later. Our hearts need time to mend, our relationships need space to heal and our minds need a pause to process the trauma that just happened. The truth is also this: No belief is worth believing if it can’t reconcile all situations.
Pain is typically where we experience trauma. It is also the place where our beliefs, paradigms and foundation is shattered and so we must begin a new journey to find out what truth is. Maybe, we’ll find that what we believed all along was correct, but, probably, we’ll find out that our weak and feeble minds lack the wisdom to continue on in our current path.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is right when he says “To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom.”
Wisdom, is found in recognizing the significance in the factual. But, for many of us, we cannot fully obtain what is truly significant until we’ve lost it. Because, we don’t know how much we’ve lost until we’ve experienced death and despair. For the wise person, can see the significant in the dead places. She holds onto light, when darkness has consumed her arena. She is the one who can find a path, when our journey and path has been broken.
Your greatest asset, your greatest gift in life will not come from a passion or a calling. No, it will come from your pain. And, out of your passion and calling will finally be breathed into because lady wisdom has touched it and blessed it. When everything dies around, you will stand strong because you will find the significant when everything seems insignificant. Your depth in life is something that must be hollowed out by death. Your joy in life, will be how much you allow love to immerse the hollow places of your life.
Go on giving your gift. Go on loving. And, when you lose the thing you love, hold onto what is significant, because, while death stares you in the face, love will re-appear with a subtle and loving touch reminding you of that which is truly beautiful. Your gift is connected with your suffering. Your suffering is connected with your ability to love. Your ability to live is completely dependent on how much you are willing to die for others and to yourself. Live, love and die with dignity.