Oh gosh. I have been awake all of two hours and the majority of that has been spent crying. I found out today that someone I went to school with has committed suicide, and I am heartbroken.
I am heartbroken not because they were my close friend (because they weren’t). I am heartbroken for them, that they never saw peace in this world. I am heartbroken that they did not know of joy or hope. Because those things are real, and they were for him to know. And he never tasted those things.
If he had, he couldn’t have ended his life. Even when your heart feels like its been stamped on, burnt and abandoned by those you most care about or your mind feels like its lost all gravity and is floating around in a void of the unknown, if you have known joy you can hear it humming in the background softly. It is waiting to take centre stage again when the pain stops yelling its part. Pain can no longer be a solo, but becomes a duet with joy, each taking their turn to sing a beautiful melody as we roll on through this life. And the more you listen, the more you can hear harmonies where joy joins with pain causing the song to be tender and delicate, expressive and magnificent. And one day, Pain leaves the song and Joy shows its true capacity to capture its audience, with a solo that takes you to another realm it is so enchanting and pure. The very definition of beauty. And then you realise without Pain in the song, you could never have heard Joy. Without Pain, you could never have appreciated how truly incredible Joy is and how it is a song you never want to stop hearing.
And this is where true, life changing hope comes from. Our hope is that pain is not a solo, it is not the only one singing the song of our life. It is but a prequel with Joy, to a place where we can see the brilliant, lavish Joy in all of its glory. And Joy is the song that will play for us, of us, forever and forever.
And when our heart knows these truths, we can have peace. Because no matter how loudly Pain sings, no crescendo, no verse, is ever without Joy and will only ever lead to Joy.
So to all the people who are grieving, who have broken hearts and who are experiencing a staccato of pain in their song. Listen for the Joy. I promise it is there. Even if it is so faint you think it might die, it is there. And it will not leave. It will grow until it is all you can hear.