Is it Pain or is it Beauty?

I’ve written about Don Miller before, as in here and here. I follow his blog, on which he posts sporadically.

A couple days ago, I found the post especially profound. There was a paragraph that pierced me. I think it’s truth, though I’m still mulling over it, and there are ways in which I want to disagree because I wish that beauty didn’t have anything to do with pain. I guess that’s what we were made for, but on this side of Eden, the two will be inextricably linked.

…beautiful things are frightening. When something beautiful happens it’s sometimes like an amputation, like your heart is being cut out with a knife. You don’t ever think when you are in extreme pain that you are being saved, chosen, picked for relationship, set aside to be loved. You can never really believe pain. It’s almost always something beautiful transitioning to something better, the whole time masquerading as a tragedy.

8 thoughts on “Is it Pain or is it Beauty?

  1. True, this. I find it interesting to watch my boys responses to both pain and beauty – their raw enjoyment of beauty and naked fear of it sometimes…Makes me aware of how afraid I am of letting either one of them (pain and beauty) pierce my own heart.

  2. was not the ultimate beauty (heaven, eternity….) brought to us through the severest of pains (redemption through Christ’s death)? Because we are in a fallen world, beauty can only be found beyond pain?

  3. Hey, hey, you forgot to mention that this post was done by Lucy Miller, Don’s dog!! Put it into context.
    Joking aside, this post of his also grabbed my attention when it showed up on my feed reader. (Especially the last sentence you quote.) So I’m not surprised to find you referring to it. Why are you and I the only Menno female bloggers who really “get” and like his stuff??! Or is it that we’re the only ones audacious enough to voice our enjoyment? Either way, one of the reasons I specifically like you is because of this thing we have in common. 🙂
    ~LW

    • Thanks, pal, for the clarification on the real writer. =) I don’t know why we ‘get’ his writings more than some people, except that I think it has something to do with our generation’s particular needs and language. But there are kindred spirits out there. My friend Jewel, a very talented wordsmith, blogged about Don last year here .

  4. This quote wrote itself on my heart for future reference. It hurts so much it’s beautiful or is it so beautiful it hurts? How to link it in the carving and pain?? Tell me.

    • Betty, it is easiest to understand the quote when read in context. I believe that joy and pain are pretty much always found on the same path. And what looks and feels like (and is) tragedy can actually be the unveiling of something beautiful. It’s as if God picks out someone to love especially well, but the process is painful.
      I don’t know how to put it into words, and I don’t speak from having walked through tragedy, but I find it to be true that exquisite joy comes in blinding pain. How does it work? I don’t know. I think it has something to do with God being bigger than anything.
      Someone else want to chime in here and say what you think Don means? Go ahead!

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