Thursday, January 24, 2013

beautiful grief

Princess Morag went to see Les Miserables again last night.  She didn't cry quite as much, but that meant that her vision was better to notice more small details about the film. She was struck by the beauty in the moments of grief.  When Marius was singing 'Empty chairs and empty tables' there was such beauty in his face and voice and tears.  What makes something beautiful? Princess Morag wondered.  And later she wondered if the answer might be when that something is pure, when it is truth, when it is love.  And grief in an odd way celebrates all those things.  It commemorates the good times that were shared with a person, when there was a soul connection with someone, when there was love.  And in the words of another song at the end of the musical "to love another person is to see the face of God".

It is in losing something or in longing for something that we appreciate its value.  So sometimes grief for something one has never had is a gift more than instant gratification would be.  Does Eponine know how much Marius' love is worth in her unrequited relationship more than Cosette knows it in its fulilment?  Princess Morag's heart has always echoed much more in 'On my own' than 'A heart full of love'.  She knows what it is to recognise when the love she has longed for is not possible and to grieve for it; to be counted upon by the one she loves and longs for, but be simultaneously overlooked.

Loving someone who doesn't love us back in the way we want hurts, but it makes us cry out to the author of love, and in our pain and grief there is somehow beauty - it is God's promise to us:

"to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes" Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

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