No one can claim not to have gone through a moment of extreme pain, physical, emotional, and psychological. We all have been there and we all have come out with our own philosophies about life… Men are dogs, I cannot forgive him, I will never fall in Love again, there is nothing like real love. Yet, we know that Blessed Mother Theresa once said,   “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Though in our lowest of lows and amidst the mother of pains, we forget that by Christ’s Example, his ultimate sign of Love was extreme pain that eventually led to his death. I know of a girl who was sexually abused at a very tender age and she grew with this notion that men are never to be trusted. At some point in her life, she re-assesd her Christianity and she learnt that, Christianity is all about love. And that meant loving even those who she loved to hate. However she dared herself to love and love truly. It was not easy, she had to learn to be near those whom she feared most, she had to learn to talk to them like brothers and sisters, she had to love them and love them true, but eventually, she had to learn to love that one man who would make her experience what she sought most. Love.

The pain, the struggle to get over it, the fight to re establish our identity all over again, the desire to forge forth, the scars from the scratches, the endless tears, the cry over unlived dreams, the hunger and the thirst for happiness, the desire for perfection; perfect lives, perfect people, perfect men and women to love keeps getting imperfect results, and we fall back in time to the abyss of struggling all over again, yet amidst all it is the truth that all happens so that love may triumph. So we are called to persevere through it all. Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint. Perseverance is trying again and again. You show perseverance when you come from a home where there is fighting and unhappiness but you still try your best, when something doesn’t work right, you try again and again, you always finish what you start, you keep working at something that is difficult until you complete it, when you learn and grow from your experiences, including the ones that hurt. It is putting a brave face even when the insides tremble.

We are all born with an innate desire to love and to be loved. This desire dwells in us for as long as we live. Hurt comes when this desire is betrayed by those we love. This may come through rejection of our personality, constant un-appreciation, physical and emotional abuse from those we love and plainly not being accepted for who we are. People fall in love, and break up because one does not meet the expectations of the other, a parent denounces his or her children, a young man fails to take responsibility of a pregnancy he is responsible for, a child is raped or physically assaulted by a parent, neighbor, uncle or someone the child trusts, a parents reject the spouses their children chooses, one community rises against the other of who previously they were good neighbors who lived and laughed together, rejection, rejection and more rejection. Sometimes there is that constant notion that we have to be better than our selves, hence no matter what we do, we still fall short. Many of us have a surprising amount of emotional trauma in our energy field that lies below our conscious awareness. At the core of all wounds are thoughts/beliefs that we are not good enough, that we are bad, that we’ve done something wrong. These feelings are cultivated, watered and pruned every time we go through a painful experience. And it reaches a point where we cannot do it anymore. The most interesting thing is, most of the times we blame ourselves for all the rejections or betrayal of that innate desire. Deep in our hearts, we start really believing that we are not good enough.

Yet in all this it is so that love may triumph. It is ironical, paradoxical or even unbelievable that I have to go through pain so that love may come to light, that I have to cry, I have to feel rejected, I have to be crushed to the bottom of it all so that love may triumph. Yes, it is true that gold is tested by fire. Or like the Kiswahili saying goes, Ukweli ukidhiri, uwongo hujiteenga. It therefore implies that for love to stand strong then it must be tested. We are commanded to love, against all the odd. But how truly do we love? For as long as the good moments shall last? Do we stay long enough to nurture that which is inside of us until it matures or do we give up on the way? When our parents make us feel we are not good enough, do we love them still? When our spouses take French leave, do we lose faith on love? When our parents reject the people we love, do we give up on one another? I am not suggesting that we stay in abusive relationships in the name of love, but if there was love, would there be abuse? For one to suffice, its opposite must come to light. It is the same with Christ, who with His love, abundant love, suffered pain, but endured it to his grave, that we learnt about perfect love. It is with the same passion that we too are called to love. We are called to bear with one another; that our life as Christians may be dominant by the love that we portray. Christ teaches in Mathew 5: 43 to 48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We are called to love against all the odds, but it is in these odds that our love is perfected. Charles Solomon sums it all up in a poem Acceptance:-

Acceptance by Charles Solomon…

Oh to know acceptance,
In a feeling sort of way,
To be known for what I am,
Not what I do or say,
Its nice to be loved and wanted,
For the person I seem to be,
But my heart cries out to be loved,
For the person who is really me.

To be able to drop all the fronts,
And share with another my fears,
Would bring such relief to my soul,
When I find this can be done,
Without the pain of rejection,
Then will my joy be complete,
And my feelings towards self known correction.

The path to feeling Acceptance from God,
Is paved by acceptance on earth,
Being Valued by others u Love,
Enhances my own feeling of Worth,
Oh The release and freedom He gives,
As I behold His wonderful face,
As Jesus makes real my acceptance,
And I learn the true meaning of grace.

A pity is that so late we find,
His Love need to be earned,
As we yield to Him all manners of strife,
A precious truth has been learned,
Then as we share with others who search,
For love, acceptance and rest,
They will find in us the saviors Love,
And experience an end of their quest.

Love triumphs because that same innate desire that is wounded, hurt and bruised by the betrayal, spurs us on, to still believe that that which was created good – since we are all born good – still exists inside of us, and that is what the desire reaches out to, and in the end our thirst is quenched…