“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen.” Beuchner
If ever a human being summed up existence in fifteen words or less, Frederick Buechner does it here.
The world is full of beautiful things.
Sunset at the beach
The laughter of children
A good book…or four
Hiking in the mountains
The smell of laundry
A warm cup of tea
Snuggling with your dogs at the end of the day
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen.”
The list could go on. Your personal list might have different particulars, but I’ll bet they are more alike than not.
Life is also full of terrible things.
Fights with friends/family/co-workers/store clerks/all of the above, possibly on the same day
Not getting _________ (the job/into that college/asked out on a date/fill in the blank here).
Illness – from the common cold to the worst of cancers
Again the list could go on.
Buechner is right in that life is full of both the awe-inspiringly beautiful and the gut-wrenchingly terrible. It is full of the beautiful which is made more lovely by the knowledge of how temporary it is and full of the terrible that forces us to grapple with loss right here, right now, today.
To live well, to live fully, to live boldly, we have to be able to live in the tension of both beautiful and terrible things happening. All around us. All the time.
To do this, we need a deep well. A vast reserve to go to in hard times. We need something bigger than ourselves. We need people around us who challenge us, encourage us and call us to honesty and vulnerability in the midst of it all. We need a spirituality that is real, personal, and durable.
To live well, to live fully, to live boldly, we have to be able to live in the tension of both beautiful and terrible things happening.
It’s a tall order.
Sometimes it’s an overwhelmingly tall order.
In those moments, remember you don’t have to go through it alone. Sage Hill is here to help. (And a little light reading of Buechner at bedtime might not be a bad idea either!) Call today to start the process. 615-499-5453.
Heather James is a therapist at Sage Hill Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. She earned her masters in human development counseling from Vanderbilt University. Heather is active in homeschooling and keeping a busy family of six from falling apart. She serves on the vestry of St. Bartholomew’s Church and is an avid reader as well as a thoughtful, gifted writer.