Tuesday, September 9, 2008

a full cup

It seems to me that I have been doing some ecclesiastical living lately.
A time for laughter. A time for sorrow. A time for sowing. A time for reaping.
A time for standing up. A time for backing down. There is a time for everything.
But I seem to feel like I am see-sawing back and forth between two extremes.
Joy and Sadness. Giggling and Weeping. Hoping and Despairing.
My proclivity is to tend to let go of the joy. To let it escape.
And to let the hard edged things of life weight me down.
People always wonder how you look at life....
Glass half empty or glass half full? And I'm saying,
"There was supposed to be a glass?"
Because how is there room for laughter when a good friend has cancer?
And how can I be frivolous when in Mongolia
there are little ones in need of heart surgery?
And how can I wax eloquent about eye brows and proper plucking skills
when somewhere someone needs Jesus?
I tend towards extremes, people. I usually go all or nothing.
All happy or all sad. All silly or all sacred.
Dark chocolate or no chocolate at all.
I cannot seem to blend the two.
But there is a thought that I have been mulling over today.
Maybe it is not a blending of the two.
Maybe daily living is two fisted.
It is both the holding of hopes and dreams in one hand
and grasping aches and fears in the other.
It is the recognition that while this Tuesday things are going terribly awry,
next Thursday at 5:47 p.m. the miraculous will occur.
That in the midst of whispering silent prayers for a wayward friend
there is a screech of joy for another who is bringing her newborn home.
That while I am broken for orphaned babies in Zimbabwe,
I get to love my own babies and squeeze the tar out of them and that is okay, too.
When my Grandpa died, I remember sitting with aunts, uncles, cousins, friends,
and weeping. Because, for goodness sakes, he went off and left us.
We were bereft. And to be honest, a little ticked off.
But sitting there in sorrow, someone would start telling a funny story about him
like when he bought a jet engine starter from army surplus in the off chance
that they might be able to use it at the church he pastored.
And that would start us laughing.
And then Grandma would say,"He promised he would never leave me."
And then it would be back to crying. It was bi-polar living at its best.
It is like that in this life.
And it would be all together wrong to lose sight of either
the joy or the suffering in our day to day.
To de-value the pain or to ignore the joy that at this moment
has been plopped into our laps.
We hold hands with both on this journey. They walk in tandem.
As I look at this past week, full of mistakes and gifts and prayers and laughter,
it seems to me, my cup is full.

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henryjz said...

You've hit the nail on the head. I think we would all do better to live in the tension of the both/and.

Leslie said...

Beautiful, Suebie. Rick Warren says that he thinks life is like train tracks. One track is the incredible blessing, and one track is the incredible sorrow. The train, by necessity, is on both tracks at the same time. I totally get that. Les P

scott aughtmon said...

Hey Sue,

Really good post. I like this idea a lot.

It made me think that when we hold onto both of these two extremes that each has a unique way to spur us on to action.

Sometimes it takes hope to inspire us to let go of something and move forward.
Sometimes it takes dispair to inspire us to let go of something and doing something.

Jodie said...

So, so well said. And I think you're absolutely right... that daily living is two-fisted. I like that phrase.
You're so great at putting life into words. I appreciate that about you. It's why I'm all hooked on you. You're peddlin' some fine narcotics here. :)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

This is profound, Susanna. And you are right. It's difficult to live on both tracks. (Loved the Warren quote Leslie alluded to, by the way. Great analogy.) But it's the way God created out world. Enough joy to keep us hopeful, enough pain to know we can't make it without Him.

Kara said...

This was a great post Sue. I also think that it was sweet that your hubby left you a comment. :-)

A lot of good stuff to think about, and on a serious note - I have to agree that it is dark chocolate or none at all. This is just the way it is. :-)