Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wife Rule #70: It's Only Weather

Life is hard sometimes.

Not just hard in the whiny, someone-said-something-rude-to-me, or I-can't-believe-I-have-to-mow-the-lawn-again-already sense, but truly hard.

Life is hard because we fail to live up to our potential. The more we learn, the more we love, the higher we ascend heavenward, the farther we have to fall when we fall short, which we always inevitably do.

Life is hard because it provides no shortage of situations that pit in mortal combat our highest, most noble emotions of love and hope against our lowest, basest emotions of anger and despair. Hard because such battles pull us so harshly, so jarringly, in opposite directions. Hard because we never could have fathomed we were meant to be nearly as ductile and stretchable as we have already proven to be, and certainly not as much as it looks like we're going to have to be.

Ultimately, life is hard because we choose to love. The ones we love hurt in ways we can't fully understand or save them from. They become sick and are beyond our power to heal. They make choices that will almost certainly cause them pain, and we can't stop them. It can be excruciating to watch someone we love suffer, no matter the source.

About six months after my wife's father tragically died from a car accident, I wrote her the following poem for our anniversary:

Each year passes over us like a procession of clouds.
Sometimes there is softness, and the breeze is welcome and refreshing.
Sometimes majestic vistas open above us, revealing the heavens.
And sometimes shadow obscures our view.
But no matter how thick, or heavy, or dark the sky,
Or how stern the driving wind,
One thing is sure!
It’s only weather
And in it’s time will pass.
And Love, ever present, will shine fully again
Like the eternal morning rays,
Warm and radiant on tear-stained cheeks,
And provide just enough perfect, sunlit beach
To walk down together for another year,
Making the next stretch even more beautiful than the last.

One thing my wife and I have learned through the hard experiences we have shared together is that even though life is hard, it is also a blessing. Even though life provides sufficient doses of suffering to teach us all we want to learn and much more, after the storms there is inevitably a period of rest. Ultimately the suffering makes rest sweeter because we no longer take our love for granted.

The same love that is at the root of so much of life's hardness is also the reward for enduring. This love only causes us pain because it also gives life its meaning. It's impossible to gain ultimate joy from loving without also knowing and experiencing to some degree the testing and trying of that love.

As our love is stretched and pulled by forces and events that seem to come out of the blue and blindside us, that bully and buffet and bruise us, we can rest assured that the storms won't last forever.

Like anything else that falls out of the sky, it's only weather.


Mom said...

Once again, Wow! Beautiful poem and insights.

Anonymous said...

Thank you truly for those words.. It has been what I just needed to hear. Thank You!

Amy said...

You are truly a deep thinker, and unlike most of us, you can form the words to express those thoughts very effectively.

I was at your house yesterday, and I saw the picture of Brooke's dad on the bookshelf. I got to compare how little Scott looked like little Charity. Life is sure one eternal round, isn't it?

LuckyMatt said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my little thoughts. One eternal round--I like that, Amy, and that's another way of saying what I was trying to say in this post: life goes in cycles and bad things are temporary and good is always around the corner, and the continual churning can work to our benefit if we exercise faith and love.