Fact: My friend's little boy died. It cannot be true that sunlight, laughter; the pure, sweet ridiculousness of every day life, exist in the same world where a mother grieves for her child, let alone a world in which countless mothers mourn. The world is rife with rejection and anger and hate and cruelty. Lives are torn apart. Immeasurable anguish is suffered. And yet I cannot deny that transcendent joy and love and hilarity also exist. These two facets of life are equally true and real, but it seems that the existence of either one must negate the existence of the other. I cannot hold them both in my hands at the same time, but I cannot set either of them aside.
I was in the delivery room when my nephew, Luke, was born. I've always been fascinated by the concept of childbirth (possibly because my mom was pregnant for half of my childhood) and I jumped at the chance to be there when my sister had her first child. I'm not sure what I was expecting but the thing that struck me the most was that the entire process was just kinda disgusting. You were expecting me to say transcendent right? And yes, it was that too. 100%. And yet.
And yet that did not alter the fact that there was pain and struggle and blood and vomiting and (for Pete's sake people) a baby coming out of a hoo-ha. That's just gross. But also? Amazing and beautiful and unable to be tarnished by the fact that it is such a bizarre, human, event. These aspects seemingly cannot exist simultaneously, and yet they do.
I can look at the world and know, "Yes, things are bad. So bad that there cannot be any hope." And yet I look for hope and I find it, there where it shouldn't exist. Rivaling hopelessness in my brain for the space to be real, to be acknowledged. This is what I struggle to understand. The fundamental disconnect between what should be and what is. Between the seen and the unseen. Between love and hate, grief and joy, loss and renewal. My hands are not big enough to hold them both. My mind is not open enough to hold them both. My only hope is that there is One who is big enough. I believe there is. But it doesn't mean I don't agonize over the questions: How? Why?