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a certain beauty finds itself in the darkness.

Brené Brown wrote this and her words were a theme for our season of Lent one year. 

Every minute 300 million cells will die in our body. Every 7 years we will have a new body. 

In order for there to be something new, there must be space, In order for there to be space, something must die. It’s happening constantly.

From Cynthia Borgeault. For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

I have met a person who was told by her father that the world would be better off without her. Repeatedly. Over and over. 

And she is one of the strongest people I know. 

I have met a person who is dealing with cancer, again, and just watched two of her siblings die including a brother while choking on a piece of food after a successful surgery. She told me she is “broken”. 

And yet, she is not. 

I have met a person who lost her mom within 3 months and is now getting ready to get married without her. 

We cried together after having met. She inspired me. 

I have met a person who is one of only 80 people in the world with a certain genetic disorder. 

She is one of the most brilliant, beautiful, and amazing humans on the planet. Changing lives.

I have a met a person who asked me if I did funerals because she believes her 21 year-old son will not be around much longer… he’s had two overdoses this summer.

She said she won’t stop loving her son. 

I have met a person whose father has ALS. 

He doesn’t like to talk about, because there are lots of people with lots of problems. 

I have met a person who was repeatedly sexually abused by her step-father until the age of 12, lost her sister to suicide, and was addicted to pain-killers.  

She shared her story at our church and her strength was breath-taking and more moving than any sermon.

I have met a person whose parents told her to not bother coming home for Thanksgiving, because she was gay. 

She has returned home. 

I have met a person who recently lost her husband to MS, after taking care of him for years. She still says “at some point I’m just going to start crying and not be able to stop”. 

She is one of the most beautiful and strong people you will ever come across. At her daughter’s wedding, recently, all the of the men in her daughter’s life, brothers, brother-in-laws, father-in-law, friends, and, finally her daughter’s new husband, danced with her on her first dance. 

I have met a person who was sexually and physically abused as a child. 

He has a wife and child of his own now. He smiles and laughs and feeds his son a bottle. 

I have met a person who was sexually and physically abused as a child by her parents who were on the elder board. 

She is finding a new god, who doesn’t live in the land of fear. 

I have met a person whose wife took a nap one morning and never woke up.

He wailed over her casket and said that she was an angel and he was a devil. I think he will learn that is not the case. 

I have met someone who has tried to hang himself, shoot himself, and take an overdose, and said, I couldn’t even kill myself the right way. 

I told him it was an honor to meet him. I was moved in my soul to just shake his hand. 

We are very afraid of the darkness, the pain, the suffering, and we do everything we can to avoid it… and yet, try as we may, we cannot deny it is built into the fabric of growth in our universe and there is something beautiful inside of it.

Indeed, the truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt.

The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers the most: and his suffering comes to him from things so little and so trivial that one can say that it is no longer objective at all. It is his own existence, his own being, that is at once the subject and the= source of his pain, and his very existence and consciousness is his greatest torture… – Thomas Merton

Eat, drink, and be merry.

lent in june.

the pain is real.