Her footsteps fell softly on the pavement as she walked away from the home she had resided in for the past eight months. A home that was filled with unconditional love and support, she was choosing to walk away from people who yearned to see only the best for her. As it was, she had decided to step out into the world at eighteen years old jobless, homeless, and void of a car. Walking to the comfort of a boy’s embrace, in whom she hoped to find love, she left everything behind.
She was broken, yet the family she left behind found themselves even more shattered. She was leaving a hole in their hearts with this decision to walk away. Didn’t she know that even through conflict and distress they simply desired to love, teach, guide, and support her? Desiring to help her successfully navigate this broken and difficult world with independence was their heart’s ambition. Yet, she chose to reject all these things. She chose to pursue life all on her own; deciding to stick with her bad habits and follow the only path forward she knew.
Where Is The Silver Lining?
This tragic scenario begs asking the questions: Where is the silver lining within the reality of brokenness? What is the good that can be found in such destructive situations? When brokenness arrives in the form of abandonment, rejection, or misuse of freedom; where is the hope? In a world currently experiencing the gravity of hurt and pain from retaliation, protests, anger, hatred, and racism, it begs asking: Where is the silver lining?
Truth be told: Life is hard. Injustice is deplorable. Being rejected is deeply wounding. Witnessing such unrest and graphic prejudice in our world is incredibly difficult. Although I have to believe that the hope lies in our individual responses to it all. The answer to despair is found in our perseverance to continue the pursuit and action of all things noble and good. Hope stems from being able to shine light into the darkness, exude love over hatred, and speak into injustice with a strength rooted in love. The silver lining is exhibited when a cause of action is born out of love. Once love becomes the lens people look through, it provides the hope needed for overcoming any broken circumstance or experience.
The silver lining takes shape as the caretaker runs after the eighteen year old who is walking away. While messy and grievous, concern lies in the pleading that takes place where the honest truth of the entire situation is discussed; all while standing on the corner of two streets in the thick of the night. Desire for the young woman to consider all of her choices takes shape through the conversation that unfolds. These choices include all scenarios that would protect, guide, love, and offer her the safety she yearns for. Safety especially from her own self.
Even as the caretaker looks directly into the fierce independence of this young woman, painfully calling out all evil from the darkness and speaking it into the open, hope is born. The steps to take toward overcoming are considered and laid out. Facing each of our personal demons is one of the hardest things to do in life, aside from owning our wrongs and forgiving ourselves. Considering each of the ways I have been hurtful, destructive, or consumed with shame, I find that it’s truly a frightful perspective to take steps forward in overcoming. However, I have found that the silver lining truly lies in facing the darkness, calling it out, and finding the power of truth over the lies. Naming, claiming, and bringing it all out into the open has power. In doing so, hope for moving forward can begin to take shape.
Taking Those Steps Toward Healing
In spite of how calling it out hurts; facing ourselves and owning our wrongs is a step toward overcoming, healing, and building a life of purpose. It’s bravely taking that step forward in letting go of previous hurt and pain caused by trauma. In doing so, it offers a step toward all things new and whole. There is freedom found in healing and wholeness. It truly is the silver lining.
For those left broken, abandoned, and rejected in the aftermath of riots, rebellion, or adolescent run-aways; the silver lining will be a journey that is fraught with difficulty. It very well may be challenging to navigate. Hope may feel hard to find. Yet, I encourage us to never give up, for hope is here.
The silver lining remains in the community being rebuilt following the storm. It is found in standing strong with one another in peace, love, and perseverance. Hope builds and forgiveness takes shape through the heart-filled, deep conversations that come in the aftermath,especially when wrapped in love, truth, and a focus on finding reconciliation. Anticipation of all things turning good builds in those moments of laughter with one another, and in those times of holding one another through the gut-wrenching tears and sobs. The silver lining is found when love is the lens we look through. When we stand in a united, equal, loving community with one another and seek to uphold, encourage, and support each other through the hardships of the aftermath; hope is born.
Let us each find ways to step out and be an example of what is good, what is pleasing, and what is love. Consider loving your neighbor as yourself, placing yourself in another’s pain, and taking specific action to help meet their needs.
When considering the young eighteen year old and her actions of abandonment, rejection, and rebellion; it means setting aside the hurt and pain as the intense focus. As the family seeks to look through the lens of love, it means responding from a place of grace and truth. It may look like embracing the young wayward girl if she steps back into the family’s world again. It is releasing all hurt and anger, and meeting her in love and truth. Acting in love means continuing to extend a safe place to reside, with the firm expressed reality of all she is expected to uphold while in residence. Realities such as: honesty, virtue, integrity, respect, and forgiveness. Extending love requires a surrender of pride on both parties, along with acknowledging a surrender of any anger and entitlement. While it certainly is not easy looking pride in the face, it is a gift of loving kindness when it is laid down. It allows for a bridging of the divide when love is allowed to grow. Love encourages all in moving forward toward all things good, healing, and whole.
Yes, the depths of injustice in our world are vast and deep. The chasm seems almost impossible to bridge. Yet, if each of us take time to reflect deeply into our own selves, yielding to wherever the need for surrender may be, we, the people, have the opportunity to shine light into our world. We can stand up for what being an example of all that is good, loving, and upright is all about. If we simply pause, reflect, and look at life through the lens of love, we can strive to face injustice without malice or contempt. We can choose to exude self-control and take action to stand firm in love. This will help bridge the gap of brokenness. And while on this journey, the silver lining will radiantly shine. Let us each begin embracing difficult concepts and relationships through the lens of love, therefore cultivating hope for all.