Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"It Is so Happy to Love..."

"It is with great revelry and pride
that we send our
physician into the future.
Join us for the graduation of
Dr. M. M. G.
from Des Moines University
College of Medicine
on May 25, 2013"

M. was in my first class at my present school, one of the sparkliest diamonds in a pretty dang sparkly class, let's see, waaay back in 1998-1999. She is 26 now, having chosen the most difficult degree to pursue, and the world is better off because of her.  I am soooo proud.

When you love someone, you are vulnerable. When someone you love makes bad choices, you hurt, too. As a teacher I love about 160 new people a year. I have been teaching over 20 years. Frankly, that's a lot of hurting. I have corresponded with a former in prison who can't seem to shake drugs and the accompanying crime. I have attended the baby shower of a former who dropped out when she got pregnant during her senior year in high school (well I tried, but her water broke that morning so the shower was cancelled). I have heard of formers who work in the porn industry. One of my formers ran a drug ring at SDSU and will be in prison for a while. I have heard news about formers shot dead. One student fell to her death jumping out of a window to elude police crashing an underage party. These events are devastating. The hurts are nigh inconsolable.

This graduation invitation boosts me. She did not become a doctor because of me, nor did I steer her from bad decisions. She came out of the womb, I think, with her head on straight, and she kept it straight. This success boosts me because when you love someone who achieves her goal, you feel her exhilaration, her relief, her joy. It warms me because she is including me in her circle, knowing how great this makes me feel, who have always cheered her on, admiring her, knowing she could do anything with her big brain and bright smile. 

Here is a quote from my favorite allegory, Hind's Feet on High Places, that sums up why Love is always worth it, even though Pain is the risk:

     “She bent forward to look, then gave a startled little cry and drew back. There was indeed a seed  lying in the palm of his hand, but it was shaped exactly like a long, sharply-pointed thorn… ‘The seed looks very sharp,’ she said shrinkingly. ’Won’t it hurt if you put it into my heart?’

     He answered gently, ‘It is so sharp that it slips in very quickly. But, Much-Afraid, I have already warned you that Love and Pain go together, for a time at least. If you would know Love, you must know pain too.’

     Much-Afraid looked at the thorn and shrank from it. Then she looked at the Shepherd’s face and repeated his words to herself. ’When the seed of Love in your heart is ready to bloom, you will be loved in return,’ and a strange new courage entered her. She suddenly stepped forward, bared her heart, and said, ‘Please plant the seed here in my heart.’

     His face lit up with a glad smile and he said with a note of joy in his voice, ‘Now you will be able to go with me to the High Places and be a citizen in the Kingdom of my Father.’

     Then he pressed the thorn into her heart. It was true, just as he had said, it did cause a piercing pain, but it slipped in quickly and then, suddenly, a sweetness she had never felt or imagined before tingled through her. It was bittersweet, but the sweetness was the stronger. She thought of the Shepherd’s words, ‘It is so happy to love,’ and her pale, sallow cheeks suddenly glowed pink and her eyes shown. For a moment Much-Afraid did not look afraid at all.”
Hannah Hurnard, Hinds' Feet on High Places

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