Tag Archives: Hope

Beauty and Affliction

 
Some Sunday afternoon thoughts:
 
 
As I have been reading and relaxing this weekend, I have been drawn in my thoughts to the matters of the heart.  I don’t know if I really even think about my heart much, yes it pumps blood breath after breath, pulse after pulse, but what about the emotion of the heart?
Pain, joy, affliction, beauty, moments that I wish could last for ever, and moments that I wish never would have happened.  The seasons in our lives pass with or without our permission.
 
I love the utter complexity of the heart. There is no clear definition that I can find that truly explains the depth, the breadth or the magnitude of the heart. It is wired into us, it is part of our core being. We cry, we laugh, there are even times that we feel like we can’t go on because things are just too much to bear.
 
I read a quote from Blaise Pascal that states; “The heart, has its reasons which reason knows not of”
I really think that the heart is a more a part of us that we want to acknowledge. It informs our decisions, our choices, it affects our judgment, our longing, our desires. 
 
You know the saying, “all good things come to an end”? I really hate the saying.  It is a bold lie. We were built for something so much bigger than our minds can fathom, and if we listen to our heart, it speaks to us that this world cannot be the way things were intended to be. Our heart cries out for a longing that addictions, possessions, or experiences can’t fill. 
 
‘”Our creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal. ” Nathaniel Hawthorne. 
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I am so thankful for the beauty and the affliction that has been, and that will come in my days on this earth. I am thankful for the moments that I get when things seem to “make sense” or that moment of sheer amazement when I look up into the big sky, or the music that touches my heart and makes me want to cry, or dance, or shout with joy. 
 
Such beauty and affliction, such beauty in affliction. 

 

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My sister Lisa

 
She is one of my older sisters and she passed away a few years ago from cancer. It ravaged her body something fierce in the months before she died. But from what I can remember of all of it, she had some of the strongest faith I have ever seen. She was in pain, and was scared, but her faith was just incredible. Not something that man can conjure up, or learn on their own. The way she handled the whole thing really impressed me. Maybe I didn’t see the whole thing, because I was not with her every hour of the day, but from my perspective, her strength and faith is what I remember.
 
 
 
 
 
 
     Lisa is probably the main reason I got into playing guitar, or music in the first place. I have this picture of her sitting in the grass somewhere in Willmar and she is holding her guitar with her legs crossed. She could play really well! She studied classical guitar, but could fake her way around just about any style. We grew up in Minnesota in a blended family. When I was born, she was already fifteen or sixteen, so I was the runt of the family, and she was already planning her escape! Not to say that our family was bad, but it was the early eighties and she wanted something more than farm life in a rural town. She joined the Army and worked her way up the ranks, ending with Major before her death.
    I had lost other people through the years, but this was the first death that really left a void in my life. She was my sister, she was way too young, she wasn’t supposed to die! This was the first death that would change the course of my life. I awoke to a realization that life is short and relationships are way more important than personal gain. That family, blood or not, is important and I needed to wake up to the fact that there have been some amazing people in my life.  I still have to remind myself of this daily.
    Lisa was a pivotal point in my own spiritual life, not just after her death, but before it too. She had faith that couldn’t be learned by books, it was divinely imparted. It was her gift, and she shared it willingly, lovingly and gracefully. Even up to the last day, she knew, and not arrogantly, that she was going to have peace after all of this. Peace that surpassed all understanding, and that inspired hope within me.
    I still miss her a lot, but when I listen to this song, I can remember her and what she meant to me, and the impact that she left on my life.
 
     Thanks for taking the time to read this!