I had a pumpkin spice latte this morning from Starbucks, and it tasted like fall, and like Boston and rainy mornings and birds, like used bookstores and depth. It tasted like refuge in God, like warm safety, like a feeling I can't quite describe, and time with Jesus by the lake and crispness and quiet.
I thought to myself: Surely, life has been sweet.
Last night I went with a bunch of girls to see The Giver. I've read the book many times, because even as a child I think I knew it had something real and true to say about life. (I hope I can leave my life having said things that are real and true). I'm not a movie critic, so I won't comment on its value except to say I liked it and it touched something deep in me.
Life is so rich and so hard.
The world is so overwhelming when we stop to think of it. War, and death, starvation, suffering, brokenness -- all is so achingly wrong, so painfully wrong. And naturally our hearts long for the end of it all. Many have asked why God doesn't rid the world of suffering, and its a bigger question than I could answer. But The Giver touches on the reality that to rid the world of suffering is to rid the world of love, and all that is worth celebrating -- of laughter, dancing, risk, sacrifice, and beauty. Meryl Streep's character in the movie says, "When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong. Every time." And you can feel it from her character (side note: Meryl Streep is amazing), the frustration, the longing to be free from pain, the desire to control our circumstances. Can't we connect with the truth in that, even in our own lives? Can't we agree that we so often choose wrong?
Once, Jesus told a story to make a point about this. From Matthew 13:
It just moves me. The world is awful and good and broken and beautiful and we live here. To pull up the weeds is to uproot the wheat. To remove suffering and wrongness is to also remove beauty and life. This is why Jesus came, in a way--because we are stuck here in a world that is terribly broken, and we need hope that one day it will all be dug up -- it will all be made right again.