Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Every Flower Must Grow Through Dirt

I've always been entranced by stories of homeless people, especially young people, and people who come through such debilitating and gritty situations to find life and love and meaning. I devoured stories about life on the edge, punks, rebels, addicts. My life seemed so whitewashed and clean compared to theirs and so...boring. I wanted a life of excitement and the straight and narrow path didn't really seem to accomodate that. Why did I find beauty and excitement in these other lives and not in my own? Because there is beauty in grittiness.There is rawness and realness to a gritty life, a life on the edge. There is no room for maybe or maybe not, only do or don't, live or die. In a way, it is a very profound life. You must always be real and up-front, in touch with who you are, and because, most often, a gritty life is a life at rock bottom or close, you can be who you want to be. Being empty leaves you with space to fill up with and what you fill up with is your choice.

But what we know about a gritty life is that it doesn't normally end well. With that emptiness come the natural desire to be full and some people do not know how to fill themselves with good things. Addiction, over-dose, death, and suicide often ensue. This does not appeal to me.

I want a raw, real life full of adventure and excitement. I don't want to just explore a place, I want to play in it. But I don't want a whitewashed life, never experiencing any suffering. Why? Because out of our suffering emerges such beauty and virtue, resistance and perseverance--all of the things that can make us great.

And that's how I fell in love with Christ. That's when I discovered who I want to be and how I want to live my life. God, Who did not spare Himself any pain or suffering but Who also led an amazing life of joy, excitement, intimacy, and love.

There is realness in pain. When we have nothing left, there is no fear in showing who we are or where we are at. This is Christ's call to us everyday, to be who we are, who we are created to be. And above all else, I am His.

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