Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sitting with the Discord

For those who think I wake up with rainbows and shamrocks swirling around the room, think again. 
I love to write, and I particularly like to lean into the positive stuff of life. There, are, however, days and moments that wound. There are odd niggles of doubt and sometimes huge dark caverns of grief. They come at random times, even in the middle of joy. Especially in the middle of joy.
My faith teaches me we live in a fallen world. A world where tiny seeds shoot up green and strong in tiny bits of earth inside Dixie Cups to flourish and delight and, eventually, die. 
A world where pet goldfish are named and loved and sung to by a child who's heart will break because the fish will not live forever.
A world where laughter spills out only to be interrupted by grief and bitter salty tears.
A world where hands reach for one another and also where hugs are rejected. These contrasts are listed in the Book of Ecclesiastes. This is a portion of God's Word that reveals truths and challenges the status quo.
A blogger friend recently helped me grapple with the idea of what he calls "writing my truths".
"How," Ken wanted to know, "does an honest writer pen the truth without causing pain?"
His daughter wisely suggested we "keep the essence but protect the innocent".
I like that. Keep the essence. Keep from wounding.
Still, it's a fine line. For instance, I want to blog about a rift between me and my best friend. I could wait until the mending happens, but what about today - the way I'm gazing sadly across a canyon of misunderstanding? What about the anger that still churns? And the truth that I should rush toward forgiveness and yet I remain locked in resentment - what about these essential doubts and struggles?
A writer wants to speak in an authentic voice. So arriving at Reconciliation requires a gritty view of the fallout in the harsh light of Now.
Writing my truth changes things. Revealing the angst can hurt. What's odd is my concern for the offender: wanting to protect her from seeing the flesh wound her own words inflicted.
A counselor once advised me to "Sit with the discord." She meant I should stay still and have a good hard look at what is Real and what is True. Even when it hurts. Her counsel was wise, because I have learned, over and over, that our Loving Father will not keep us locked in discord for longer than we can endure.
Think of a night at the symphony. The program promises Mozart but delivers Noise. You feel gypped. You want a refund. But wait! As you shift uncomfortably in your seat, a sweet note emerges. Then another. Then healing layers of harmony are settling around your shoulders, and you know you are moving toward Reconciliation.
You simply had to sit with the discord for a while.
That's my truth today: Writing it down can be good. It may hurt. Revealing it requires the courage to write from a broken, discordant part of myself.
Telling it lays raw the flaws in my character that maybe you don't want to see.
But if my being honest gives you courage to look over the rim into your own abyss, then we've made a connection. It's going to be okay. 
Unseen mending is set into motion. For a little while, though, we must sit with the discord. One sweet note will shift our view; the world will recalibrate, the harmonies will return.

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