the beauty of contrast

it stormed tonight. and as i walked out to my car, i couldn’t help but look up as the clouds started to break. the sun was setting and hitting the tip of one of the breaking storm clouds, setting it on fire against the pale blueness of the sky. i caught myself staring at it as long as i could, struck by the beautiful contrast of the colors captured in a frame of dismal gray.

i guess the funny thing was realizing that the beauty came from the contrast. this is a world, after all, where differences tend to be feared and avoided, where people use them to justify strife and violence, when they are used to justify heartbreak. even to the well-intentioned, well-informed and well-meaning, differences of look, opinion and belief are viable excuses to run or cause discord. some people don’t even realize they are doing it. and that’s what’s scary. they let it separate them and just simply accept that it’s how it has to be.

the sky above me tonight drew and captured my attention, it engaged my thoughts. it wouldn’t have happened without the storm, it wouldn’t have been noticeable if all the elements had been the same or if they had been separated or on their own. they had to be together – not working against each other, but enhancing one another.

i know i’m not breaking any new ground here, and i know people can argue the point as to why things can’t always be worked out or whatever – people would even argue that there should be no such thing as differences; but with all that i’ve been through, with all that i’ve had to relearn, with how ugly the world is…i’m going to take this single moment as a reminder to see the beauty in the contrast. i’m going to choose to take the risk, choose to step out of the bubble, choose to go against the flow. choose to be one of those things that stands against the rest and lights up a small part of the sky.

be the change you wish to see in the world.


some things i need to remind myself of

real love is unconditional.

it is not based on emotion. it is not contingent on the actions of others, while it itself is best expressed by action. true love is unshakable. it is the most powerful thing of all.

love hurts. it is not easy. Christ died for us out of love. out of the desire for us to be nearer to our Father. love was reason enough for God to become a man. love covers a multitude of sins. it keeps no record of wrong. what an idea…especially for us. us as small, wounded little creatures. what an idea to be loved like that…

we can’t love like this. and yet we are commanded to love ourselves, love others like this. only He can through us. we are no more than vessels that all too often get in the way of it. we are selfish. we want everything now. we hurt ourselves, we hurt others – even when we don’t mean to because we can’t see what He sees in us. it can be one of the most difficult things for us to accept. the harder we fight it, the more tragic we become. but once we embrace it, once we allow it in little by little…oh, the beauty.

love heals. it doesn’t give up. it sustains us even in the darkest of times.

these are just some of the things i’ve learned in the last few years. it is everything to me. it was something that had been so warped, so destroyed for me…and yet He has opened my eyes to remarkable truths. and one of the central truths is that love is sacrifice.

love is everything.


hard to believe

you know, it’s hard for me to believe someone when they call me beautiful…and it’s all because the wrong person used to tell me the same thing.

but i am worth pursuing. i am worth being fought for. i am beautiful, and not because of what anyone says or doesn’t say or does or doesn’t do. it’s who i am. He made me. He put me back together. it’s been nearly six years of it now…

it’s easier said than done, but it’s about damn time i start believing that about myself.