Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Finding the Blessing

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
--
Shakespeare,
As You Like It


I was talking with a friend who has just had cancer surgery. As a cancer survivor myself (surgery over 20 years ago), I know the scary place she is in right now. Before I had the surgery, I would not have been able to be the same kind of loving friend.

I remember thinking that before I was divorced, I probably did not listen well enough, or deeply enough to friends living through divorce.

And I know that before I lost my parents, I expected people to move through that grief much more rapidly.

Those wounds in my life - whether abuse as a child or hardships as an adult, have been and continue to be blessings in that they have sheared off layers of insulation between me and others in the world.

I don't say this to point at my incredibly flawed self as some sort of example of Lady Bountiful. I will miss a chance to care and to love as easily as the next person -- but I think it is important to find ways in which those things/events/sorrows in our lives are refining us in life's fire -- grinding us fine in life's crucible -- so that at least in some ways we do become better able to hear and be of help.

There have been a few areas of my life that have felt like they were burned to ashes - but if I look honestly enough I will find blessings in those ashes -- tongues in those trees -- sermons in those stones.

It may be that when my life's clock has run its course, that I will be most thankful for the wounds that, when healed, allowed me to better love.




6 Comments:

Blogger The Harbour of Ourselves said...

i think maybe wounds are the only things that allow us to love - by our stripes are we healed? It could be quite some time before i post again, life is tougher than i can begin to put into words

i will be dropping by though friend

7:33 PM  
Blogger Mata H said...

can we take a brief discussion offline? You can use the email blogquestions at aol dot com to drop me an email if you'd like. please connect.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Pat Z. said...

Hi Mata, You are so right, no one understands pain that they have not had to deal with. Years ago we had to sell our home where we raised our children, and move on as my husband had a forced job change. We loved that home so much that it was extremely difficult to come back to the old neighborhood to visit friends. When one friend asked why, and I told her, she said don't you think you should be over it by now? She never had to leave, so she could not begin to understand our pain.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Hi Mata

I am a worried blog friend of Pauls - did you contact him is he ok?

Jules x

3:14 AM  
Blogger beth said...

Yes indeed...once we live it, we understand it. Experience brings empathy. For this reason, I am glad for the challenges of life.

Good post, Mata.

10:18 AM  
Blogger skinnylittleblonde said...

Oh so true!
Great post!
It can't all be pretty all the time or else we wouldn't be living, learning, loving...
Great post!

3:06 AM  

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