My foot is killing me today. The reason is a tad embarrassing, only because of the mental images you might conjure. I found a pair of headphones last night, which coincided with the arrival of a $15 iTunes gift card . . . which led to music downloads . . . which then led to about 40 minutes of dancing around my room. I have to tell you, it felt soooooo good to dance. It was late. I danced. I sang. I was in another world for those 40 minutes, and it was simply wonderful.
It didn’t take long after I stopped to notice that my left foot was hurting. Honest to Pete, I don’t know how it happened. But, I did damage to my foot, with a bruise across the top as an indicator of some sort of sprain.
But, guess what? I was so happy when it happened, I don’t really care even now about the injury. It hurts, yes. But it happened while I was doing something I really loved and, if I had it to do over, I would probably do the exact same thing.
I can’t help but compare that sentiment to the process of bringing children into the world. If there wasn’t so much joy attached to the outcome, there would likely never be more than one child in any family. How else can you explain our willingness to endure childbirth more than once in a lifetime? (And for men, how else can you explain their willingness to endure the misery we inflict on them during pregnancy and labor?)
I spoke in a previous blog about how there is always an element of imperfection to our experiences of joy here on earth. But this is a different angle, I think. This connection between suffering and joy emphasizes the presence of love in both. Love empowers us to endure suffering.
As I think about that concept during this Lenten season and apply it to the suffering Jesus endured, I am utterly overwhelmed by the vastness of His love. I cannot speak because there is nothing to say. A beautiful combination of Divinity and humanity, Love and suffering, is the story of Jesus’ passion. The whole time, He had us in mind.
That kind of covenant-based love is not an easy concept for us to grasp. We don’t see the value in enduring hardship when there are so many other choices. Today, I remain in a state of gratitude for Christ’s covenantal love and the lesson I am afforded because of it.
In the middle of joy or sadness, my heart dances in His love, whether my feet can keep up or not!