Did you know that brown is a colour that is associated with belonging. I’ve written about this before – the need to belong. A need for community. A need for relationship. We were never meant to be alone, but we were made for relationship. I am very content to have relationship with the one who feeds my soul, and cares for me on a holistic level.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis
How do you nurture this human need for belonging?
Do you think that we, as humans, can benefit from times of pain and suffering? Do you think it teaches us timeless lessons and builds character? I do.
Nobody wants to go through painful experiences, but it seems like going through the tough times is what causes true growth and maturity in our lives. It’s like the age-old adage, “No pain, no gain”.
Allow me to share a few famous quotes about the good found in diversity.
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” –Walt Disney
“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” –Epicurus
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.” –Napoleon Hill
These quotes hold a lot of wisdom. I’ve been through the wringer when it comes to inner pain and suffering. All I wanted during those times was to be rid of it all. In retrospect though, I see how they have shaped me, grown me and made me into the person I am today.
How about you? Have you gone through times of pain, suffering, adversity? Have you allowed it to shape you? To be your teacher? Have you grown wiser and allowed it to develop character in you? What painful experience have you gone through, in looking back, you can see that it has produced gold by being refined in the fire?
This post is an updated version of one I’ve done before. I added another stanza to the poem and have embedded it into my original art. I have put music together and hope to record in the near future.
This is also in response to a 3-day quote challenge that I received from Pearl at “writeintent1“. Three quote for three days and nominating three others. I will be cheating though. I won’t be doing it for three consecutive days (time restraints) and I would like to challenge anyone that would like to take this on to go ahead and do it.
I love the song “Killing me softly”, originally composed by Charles Fox. I came to know the song by the version Lauren Hill did, and it had a huge impact on my life. A very special blogger friend, Sibella, from Arts & Rhymes, recently posted a You tube video of the song, and it made me remember an experience I had 10 years ago. My husband and I had recently left an arts team we were working with. We were on our way to Argentina for my husband to do a course in journalism. Before leaving Brazil, I had some questions about my life and future. I prayed and asked God about it and this song came to mind. I didn’t remember the lyrics at the time, but the next day I heard a friend humming the same tune while listening to her mp3 player. I asked to listen to it so I could hear the lyrics.
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his songs
Killing me softly with his songs
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his songs
Now, 10 years later, after hearing that song again, I had a type of revelation. I really feel like that is exactly what these last 10 years have been for me. Losing pride, discovering myself, finding my identity, firming my faith, dying to ego and the need to be known for what I can do. Shaping and establishing my world-view on a much deeper level.
Killing isn’t something we associate with good. Dying isn’t something that anyone wishes to experience. The funny thing though, is that in all of this killing and dying, I’ve never felt so alive and content. As if the opposite has happened.
Have you ever had a song profoundly affect you? If so, share your story 🙂
I would just like to share a photo of my cute new little puppy, Benny. He gives me heck when I sit down to work, so I’ve succumbed to putting an old cushion next to my computer for him to be close to me. Hahahahaha. I love him to pieces.
Can you imagine what would happen to a tree if it didn’t get sunlight? The sun is absolutely necessary for most trees to grow and flourish. It is needed for photosynthesis to happen, and in turn sugar is produced, which feeds the tree oxygen and then is released into the air (source). We need oxygen to breathe – to live.
The above piece serves as a spiritual allegory for me. When the sun doesn’t shine, I’m weak and droopy. My colors aren’t vibrant, but more like monochrome and depressive. I need the sun. When I’m far from it I suffer depression. I get tired and fatigued. I get irritable.
I want to be that big, lush, tall, strong, mature, beautiful tree. I guess that means I need to keep turning my face toward the sun and allow it to do its work.
How about you?
Planting the seed
Tending the soil
Not missing one.
Rays of hope
Eyes see nothing
Crying my tears
Watering the soil
Not giving up
Holding on by faith
Though nothing appears
To others seems bleak
Beneath deep roots grow
Preparing the ground
Then all of a sudden
Before my very eyes
New life appears
Up, up, up it grows
Do you know much about the Bamboo tree? I just heard about it’s growing process yesterday and was so inspired by it.
Once planted, it takes five years for a Bamboo tree to sprout from the ground and give evidence of life. For those five silent years, it seems as if nothing is happening. It must be watered daily in order to see growth. If a day is missed, it will not grow. Once it grows though, it does so at a rapid rate. The Moso Bamboo tree grows about 3 feet over 24 hours, reaching 90 feet in six weeks ( the size of a 9 story office building). During these seemingly fruitless years, the Bamboo tree is developing the required roots and the strength to support the height and width of it’s explosive growth (Information taken from here).
I can look at this story for a number of different things in my life and be encouraged by it. Yesterday though, it encouraged me concerning life purpose and work. As a Christian, I believe that my life means so much more than just the cycle it goes through biologically – birth, growth, reproduction, death. It’s much more than just physical and existing within the measure of time and space.
I sense that I have been going through a time of waiting. I’ve been planted, watered and have been growing strong roots that run deep, in preparation for whatever is next. Without this time of preparation, I would not be able to handle all that God has for me.
How about you? Can you relate the story of the Bamboo tree to your life at all? Have you been longing to see fruit in some area? Have you persisted and persevered in order to see growth in your life? If so, how?