Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.
A pause. A breath. A sudden moment when today strikes down the fruit that tomorrow promised. The today that brings dread, pain, shock, panic, and loss. Flashing pictures and memories instantaneously available without being invited, and yet suddenly consuming any thought or agenda that previously seemed to hold value. LIke a safe with a lifetime of savings, these memories store the investment of years. Years of hard work, love, laughter, tears, holding, helping, sharing, learning, The years that were not supposed to stop giving, and yet end abruptly without a second to savor. The smallest look, smile, conversation, and connection of the past are clutched tightly by loved ones to claim territory that they fight for, even when memories are tempted to fade. The shades of these treasured moments are outlined in thick permanent lines to hold the shape of their significance forever.
What does one do when faced with loss? When the end is encountered? When fears are poised to mock a persons trembling hope?
Answers may vary, and time may illustrate solutions that follow the curves of a generation's philosophy. Yet, amidst questions, there appears a brilliance that spans time. A trail that is marked by the voices of many coming together with tiny embers of light fighting to see something in the darkness. As the lights meet, they are brighter until a roaring fire ignites and lends warmth. The voices rise in number and the song reaches all ages, genders, races, tribes and nations. The loss is not less, but the pain is no longer experienced alone.
The TEDTalk for this week is a call for others to come along side of the suffering and bring the flickers to flame in order to pervade the darkness before it overcomes. In a previous article that I wrote, Implications of the Interplay between Light and Darkness, I explored the dungeon in the Doubting Castle, and the Giant Despair as portrayed in the Pilgrims Progress. It is a reminder that the path which doubts purpose, where one is beaten down daily by despair, is something that anyone can find themselves on. If caught in this dungeon it can be difficult to remember the light or believe that there is another way. It is the voice of Hope that provides light for Christian to remember the purpose of his journey and the road that leads to life. He then recalls that he has the key of promises from God's word in his pocket that can unlock the door to get him out.
For those that are in a place of despair, there is a way out, and a road of life that has a purpose for you. For those who are alongside of individuals suffering let your light shine as Hope to recast the vision and remind them what the journey is all about. For those who have not considered the depth of suffering that exists in despair, do not be afraid of the conversation. The darkness loses its power when it is not in hiding but brought out into the light. Just as JD Schramm so beautifully shared his story, the claim of darkness lost its lustre and allowed a conversation that provides a way for honesty and change.
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