Before each book, each masters thesis, this blog post even, the expanse of a white page lies. This hypothetical page waits for revelation, inspiration, and wisdom, but mostly it waits for tiny lines, subtle curves, and precise points. There. There they are.
A few weeks ago, Ben’s brother, who has become a brother to me, got married, and now I have a new sister, too. This is especially fun for me since for 23 years before marriage, I was an only child. Now, the hearth where I’ll spend Christmas has seven stockings hung.
Yet I still reap the blessings of being an only child. As Ben and my Christmas gift this year, my parents traded cars with us. We definitely got the better end of the deal–new tires and all. Plus, things have really been going well at work with a new position and pay scale and a Christmas bonus.
The happiest part of all is that so many of my friends are happy right now–falling in love and having babies and all that stuff that makes life warm.
What is intriguing about my happiness lately is that it has been accompanied by quite somber events. For instance, only a day after the wedding, Ben’s grandfather died. He would have been 99 on the day of his funeral, which was also my husband’s birthday and the first full day that the newlyweds were back from their honeymoon. We weren’t the only family dealing with death at the end of this year–two of my friends had family members die, much more suddenly. As if we aren’t individually somber enough, our entire country is mourning a tragic day on which we lost not only 20 American kids, but also six American educators.
The day after that hellish event, I found myself picking pecans out of my yard on a beautiful day with my friend and her four-month-old baby girl. I felt guilty for still being alive. I felt foolishly light for not having the constant responsibility of a mother. I felt discouraged for not being a teacher. Like everyone else, I assume, I felt everything the question “why” presents to us. The processing is overwhelming, and I don’t think it will ever be complete in this life.
A week later, three stars fell on my way home from work. When I got home and “Googled” the meteor shower, I easily convinced Ben to come outside with me and our miniature schnauzer Winston to watch the free and natural show. We climbed a big hill behind our house in the middle of a field and sat on a blanket. As we watched bits of some exploded material dash through our own atmosphere, I remembered an idea Ben had mused with me on another stargazing night, and we’ve tried to cultivate it into an unofficial theory since then.
The point of the theory is contrast. We may be standing on only a pixel of this portrait of humanity, but the Creator Artist sees the entire piece and knows all the darkness and light within it. I’m certainly not trying to say that God would flippantly decide to let terrible things happen only for art’s sake. I do, however, believe that my God is the mastermind who invented contrast and that he intrinsically knows the perfect balance of all things. He is the same God who brought a cute little baby to a trusting couple knowing that the boy would one day be brutally murdered for crimes he never committed. He is the same God who inhabited that innocent human and accomplished the greatest victory of all time over death itself. I am still in awe of the contrast.
From another perspective, what I saw that night might be masses of flaming gas, but from the ancient grassy field, they were more like twinkle lights strung in formation, peering out of a dark spaces, finding me on this vast page. All tiny lines, subtle curves, and precise points.