Friday, March 08, 2013

Making Yourself Vulnerable

Recently I was reading from the December 2012 issue of Reader's Digest. Yes, I realize I am a bit late. Anyway, under the Quotable Quotes section I found a little gem that is similar to something I've long felt to be true. It was a quote from Jonathan Safran Foer, "You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness." Isn't that soooooo true?!

To really enjoy something or someone also makes you very vulnerable to pain when or if whatever you enjoy is no longer available to you. Seriously, the only way to avoid loss is to avoid happiness. I've often heard people say they won't have another pet because it hurt too much to lose the last one. I recently heard a friend say she wouldn't consider marriage again because the pain of being widowed was too much. I'm not judging those choices and it certainly isn't my place to decide how much pain is more than someone can handle. I understand why they would say what they said. It does make me think, though, that in order for a loss to be painful, we first had something pretty wonderful...something worthy of being missed.

I let my mind momentary travel down that "what if..." road. I thought of potential losses in my life that would devastate me, at least for a bit. I live in a house that isn't fancy or big by local standards, but in some parts of the world would be thought large enough for multiple families I suppose. I am never hungry, at least not because I have no food. I have plenty of clothes, lovely art work to enjoy, heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, a cell phone, a computer and so much more! What I value most, though, are the relationships in my life.  Due to the nature of the human body, though, any of those I love can be gone in a  heartbeat.

I don't really know how to handle those thoughts other than to be so very grateful for what I have now. All the "stuff" I enjoy is expendable. The relationships are not. I have a long list of friends that bring great enrichment to my life. And my family? My family is my joy!

(9/2012 my sister, my mom, my granddaughters and my husband)

I've typed out this last part over and over, and erased what I typed over and over as well. I am trying to tell you about the gift of faith that lets me relax a bit about making myself vulnerable through relationships. I'm trying to tell you that I do not believe that saying good-bye to a loved one in this life is necessarily a permanent good-bye. I was having a lot of trouble trying to do this without sounding sappy. Then, I had a brainstorm! I'd just share a Bible passage that says it better than could I.


    1 Corinthians 15:54-57
    Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
    “Death is swallowed up in victory.
    O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”
    For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
     (NLT)