I had a horrible childhood. That isn’t said for the sake of pity or even to get your attention, it is a simple truth. My home life was chaotic,often violent and unpredictable and I never really found my “place” in school or with friends. I was adopted as a baby and my adopted mother was undiagnosed schizophrenic-depressive/diagnosed bi-polar (no-meds). There were a lot of severe emotional detachments in my home although I had an amazing dad, who handled life with care and reason and loved my mom fully. He was not a godly man (at least in the traditional sense) although he had deep reverence for God. We made it through, I found balance eventually and life itself has been more fulfilling and enjoyable than I ever would have imagined. I don’t talk about the depth or worst of my despair in my formative years much, it is not a sore subject but it is also not relevant in most discussions, not because I don’t acknowledge it but because the good in my life is of far greater worth.

I was discussing life’s ups and downs with a friend yesterday and he questioned whether I had ever experienced joy without the accompaniment of sorrow or pain. I tried to re-step through my life and I honestly can’t think of any moment that wasn’t riddled with both. He mentioned how sad that was and how I must not really enjoy anything, but after some evaluation that simply isn’t true. I don’t think of bad things happening to ruin my good time, I see life apart

from union with Christ as riddled with false expectations and a fantasy of avoiding trouble and striving to attain some imaginary prize called success. Good things present amidst the mundane and painful to provide a vision of heaven. [James 1] God is gracious and sheds that grace by giving us hope and fulfillment in spite of the anguish or trouble in life. I’m reminded of the velveteen rabbit and how the Horse commented on being rugged and torn from life but shiny and pristine made you no more real than old and worn… the only ones that “become real” are the ones that are truly loved and truly taken in. It is revealed through inspection that fulfillment comes through living with purpose and value to others.

Brennan Manning - A Ragamuffin
Brennan Manning – A Ragamuffin

Bad doesn’t interrupt my good, wonderful injects itself into wonder… the supernatural invades my natural, I appreciate the most trivial and simplistic things in my life because I know the value of each and every triumph. And placing value on low things doesn’t cheapen greater things it only causes someone to make more honest and lasting connections with the things that really matter, the things that are “real.”