Friday, November 15, 2013

True Strength

I've met people who have told me that strength is to be found in the walls they have erected around their hearts and they have declared with insolence that they never cry; for they are sure that tears are a sign of great weakness. They toss their heads and announce they never intend to love anyone enough to be hurt, because they are too smart and they know better. They view the world through a veil of bitterness and they wear their cynicism with pride, as if it was a badge they worked arduously to earn.

Joy and wonder are for babies. They are experienced adults. 

They look at me with a kind of pity when I say I disagree, as if they are positive it is only a matter of time before I take the dragons skin of cynicism that the world will hand to me and don it over my naïveté. I can see in their eyes that they think that one day despair will stitch scales over my eyes and throw a suffocating blanket of despondency over my heart.

They are sure one day, I will grow up.

However, I maintain the belief that it takes courage to have the heart of a child rather than let our heart grow hard with the cynicism of adulthood. I believe it takes greater strength to fight and struggle against the encroaching darkness than to succumb to it.

 It is easy to let your heart turn to stone; fighting to keep it soft enough to be broken takes strength.

To be vulnerable takes more grit than it does to construct walls. 

Building barracks is easier than burning them down, however, the converse is true when it comes to bridges. 

It takes more courage to have joy than to be cynical. It takes more strength to search for the beauty in the rubble instead of giving into despair.

Forgiveness requires more power than bitterness. Great bravery is sometimes found in tears.

It takes courage to admit that you are broken.

There is truth in the backwards way the Kingdom works.

There is strength in humility and power in weakness. It's easier to bend under the weight of the world than to skip with the lightness of a child. Trust requires a ruthless pursuit of the belief that good will win despite the evidence that seems to scream otherwise. To bend down to find the violets in the rubble takes a bravery. To open your heart up to hope following disappointment after disappointment after disappointment is never easy, but it's worth it.

It is terrifying to think of the pain that will come as the cynical scales of adulthood are torn from our eyes, heart and soul, for hearts of flesh see and feel everything more acutely than a heart made of marble. Hearts of stone are unbreakable, unmovable.

It takes courage to believe that good can be woven in-spite of our foibles and failures, to believe we are loved in-spite of our own darkness, just exactly as we are.

To allow the Lion to sink his claws into the thing that is protecting us from true beauty, love, and glory takes a reckless and ruthless trust that the pain will be worth it in the end, the sacrifice will be worth the reward. 

But when you do - when you grasp with a trembling hand to what you think seems to good to be true, your eyes will be opened, the scales will fall off, and you will stand wide eyed, mouth agape at the beauty and glory that surrounds.

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