I’ve often wondered why dark menacing clouds approaching from the horizon are so beautiful. I vividly remember one of the more awe-inspiring and spiritual moments of my life occurred while walking along Lake Michigan, on the campus of Northwestern University, on a windy, blustery day. A violent storm was rolling in, and the clouds crashed around like waves and were periodically illuminated from within by severe lightening. An ominous storm was coming, but I didn’t think that I should hurry home. I just stood there, struck by the beauty of it all.
|Beautiful dark skies over a Kansas field. image source.|
Perhaps, our souls are just as out-of-tune as reality—our hearts and reality playing the same wrong note in the same wrong key. Or, maybe there is something to be appreciated about darkness. I think it is the latter.
|Caravaggio's "Deposition from the Cross", 1602|
This means there is a purpose to our pain and our darkness. The brokenness of our lives will be redeemed for the beautiful story they make. Death, disease, pain, brokenness, hatefulness, poverty, and loss do not stand in equal opposition to the the Light. They stand in subjection to it. As Joseph told his brothers who sold him into slavery and faked his death, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good...that many people should be kept alive...” (Gen. 50:20, ESV)
There are, no doubt, forces of evil that are morally culpable for the pain caused in this life. But, pain is allowed to remain for a purpose. Perhaps that purpose is beauty.