“The heart itself is but a small vessel, yet dragons are there, and also lions. There are poisonous beasts and all the treasures of evil. But there too is God, the angels, the life and the kingdom, the light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasuries of grace — all things are there.” – Macarius
Some days, I reach into my heart and write. And I see beauty and light reaching out like golden strands weaving something of meaning. Something, I hope, of truth. Something resulting in love or wonder or purpose.
Other days, I reach into my heart and find shadow and darkness. Questions. Confusion. Blame and guilt. Criticism and discontentment. I dare not dip my quill into such blackness and write.
Why such a dichotomy? Such a vast and great division? Light and darkness. Good and evil. Beauty and beastliness. Pure and the profane. How can all these dwell in a single heart?
A great and ancient writer spoke of the heart of man being desperately wicked. Yet that same heart has the ability, the power, the gift, to search for an unsearchable treasure: to know an unknowable God. A God that floods the hearts with beauty and wonder. A God who takes the horror and the tragedy and pieces together in His mystery a tapestry. A story.
The stories I love the most blend chaos with order, hate and horror with love and healing. Brokenness with sacrifice and redemption. Lostness with being found and belonging. Because every heart, at some time, sounds the deep recesses and we know of what we are made. And it scares us how vast and far and dark the darkness goes.
And yet, even there shines a starlike pinprick of light. Of love. Of truth. Like hope and love and sacrifice in even the darkest stories. Like restoration and new life bursting from an acrid, wasted ground. The ground of our life. Our stories, with grime and dust and mistakes clinging to our souls, yet with a Word speaking that His mercies are new every morning. That His Light will shine the distance and pierce the depths even of the darkest heart. That His Love will stretch as far as East is from the West, encompassing all that therein is and redeeming it by His blood.
The darkest stories are the sweetest stories when they resound with the truth of this Word, this Light, this Love.