Life seems to demand bruises. They emerge from the strangest places. I guess one shouldn’t be surprised, but I find always seem to find myself puzzled when the bruise comes from relationships. In the scheme of things I don’t have much to complain about. I have food, opportunity and hope. I live in a family who love me. When I look at my life in context of those struggling to hold onto hope, those without any assurance there will be food today, and especially those fearing today could be their last, I find there is much to appreciate. Yet often I find myself focusing on the black and blue parts of life. Nothing is quite as clear as it is in the bright morning sun.
Perhaps the benchmark of hope should not be relevant when it comes to the bruises in our life. When it comes to the important things in life – love, compassion, and being part of God’s family – we are equal participants. We may not always feel that way. We may not always sense the invitation to walk with Divinity, to be partners in a great plan. We may think we need to do it on our own – to struggle, fight, and create our own hope.
In this context we all feel the bruises life gives us. I do not automatically put things in perspective. I react. I hurt. I wallow in the pain I experience. And yet there is a bigger picture. You and I are not asked to ignore our pain. We are not called to put it aside without consideration. We are called to pursue something worthy of being bruised, even dying. We are called to a great cause. “The Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, says: ‘My dear, dear people who live in Zion, don't be terrorized by the Assyrians when they beat you with clubs and threaten you with rods like the Egyptians once did.’” (Isaiah 10.24) Instead focus on living out compassion, mercy, and love. You will be bruised, injured, and even killed for the cause. It is our calling by God.
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