As Wesley said, "life is pain."
Oh how well I know that! I have had 20+ years of physical and emotional pain that have threatened to do me in more times than I can say. Not many people know this about me, because for a variety of reasons I have needed to just suck it up and deal. There wasn't time/space to express all that pain with others.
Over the years, I made time privately to grieve and rail against it all, and did what I could to heal. And I knew that to keep from despair, I had to find ways to affirm goodness. Like Sam in the movie The Two Towers, I need to affirm, "that there is goodness in the world. And its worth fighting for." Or like the Psalmist, who says he would have lost heart if he had not believed, "that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
For the last few years I've been fairly wallowing in pain (back, hip, shoulders, thumbs - my freaking thumbs hurt now? Seriously? Gah! - , jaw... soul...) so its been doubly important for me to seek out goodness and light. To name it out loud.
Along with the daybook and friday fave five entries that I post here, I keep a gratitude list in my journal. My journal is where I pour out a lot of the pain I'm working through, so its important that I write down goodness there. I use sparkly pens to write blessings in the header of each page, a glittering thread of beauty amidst all the yuck and blerg.
The other evening I sat on my porch and the streetlight caught some of the glittery ink. It had been a hard day near the end of two hard weeks. The sparkles reminded me that in the midst of much pain there is still good, albeit in simple ways and small spaces.
I sat for awhile staring at the sparkles and listening to crickets and the neighbor's water fountain. Breathe. Notice. The scent of cool water on dusty sidewalks. The deep prussian blue evening sky. The warm light from the window. The sway of this rocking chair. The slink of that cat. The love and safety in your husband' heart.
There is good in this world. In the land of the living.