contrast, tension and joy

I’ve been thinking about contrast a lot lately. I’m finding I can’t appreciate the good without the presence or knowledge of the bad.

This delicate dance we do each day starts abruptly with tension, stress and a flurry of needs to be met. Then the dances slows, children are playing, husband has left for work and the coffee is much more appreciated as I sit quietly on the couch. This scene varies in intensity but is repeated throughout the day, ending in a calm that can only be described as blissful quiet, until we have to rise and start the dance all over again. If there wasn’t that tension throughout the day, I wouldn’t appreciate the quiet as much, just as when we go through times of suffering the times of joy are that much sweeter.
Our pastor gave a sermon on hell last week and one on heaven this week. I don’t know if I’ve ever really grasped what I’ve been saved from. What joy to know I will savour an intimate eternity with my Creator and not the anguish of hell!
So it is with the weather, I look forward to each passing season because they are so contrasting in nature. Barren trees, white landscapes giving way to lush leaves and vibrant colors.
Woven into this is the memory of attending the combination of the Good Friday and Easter services when we lived in Boston. The Good Friday service was heavy and dark, the organ setting a somber and weighty mood, lights off and three single candles lit in the front. Then Easter Sunday trumpets entered, leading the procession of choir members whose triumphant voices filled the enormous sun lit sanctuary with joy and celebration. Death conquered, Christ arose! It was impossible not to grin from ear to ear, bubbling over with victorious gladness.
Life is never just a bowl of cherries, thank God!
“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.” –Charles Dickens
[artworks by James Disney, “the magdalane,” “the fall,” and “refined by fire”]
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