Suffering Is a Crucible of Learning

 

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore to decide you are going to be happy.” – Nightbirde

A young woman with cancer sang, earlier this week, to audition for “America’s Got Talent.” That show is, IMO, mostly dumb and even a little grotesque. But every once in a rare while, something magical happens.

There is a wisdom in this world that I’m afraid only ever comes to a person by walking through the fires of suffering. You can almost sense in another person, even before you know their story, whether they have learned the lessons that can be found only in that crucible. Usually, there are clues that they have cast off triviality and shallow appetites, and there’s a knowing kind of aura in their face, and especially around their eyes.

Something similar, I think, happens when young men go off to war and they come home and they’re altered in some essential way. They have seen things, and learned something deep and disturbing and profound about themselves and the fallenness of the world.

If you yourself have ever staggered on unsteady legs through the wilderness of suffering, you will know only too well the honesty and insight of this remark to the judges:

“It’s important that everyone know that I’m so much more than the bad things that happen to me.”

In the lyrics to her original song, she sang “we’re all a little lost, and it’s alright.” But listening to the pearls of wisdom coming out of her mouth as she spoke to the judges, it was Tolkien’s observation that seemed more apt in describing this young woman:

“Not all who wander are lost.”

If you’re a praying person, you might offer up a prayer for her.

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  1. Kelly B Member
    Kelly B
    @KellyB

    Wow. Sure glad I’m working from home and don’t have a meeting for a little while. And had a box of tissues handy. What an inspiration.

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    You don’t post enough, Keith.

    • #2
  3. Yudansha Member
    Yudansha
    @Yudansha

    I am not much of a praying person at all, but by God, I’ll offer one up for her!! That was beautiful and humbling; I stand in awe of her quiet strength.   

    • #3
  4. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    The only time I ever see things on this show is if someone posts it on Facebook, or on other sites like here. Thanks for posting this!! It was completely worth my time. She has an amazing attitude!

     

    • #4
  5. jmelvin Member
    jmelvin
    @jmelvin

    Hey, who’s spraying my face?  Quit it!

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • #5