Lately I’ve had reason to remember the old dictum “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
As I write I’m dealing with some grief but, in those times when I can look at the situation objectively, I’m seeing as a good thing that my heart can break in the way that it has done so. It means I’m not hiding it away under lock and key and was willing to take a risk to open it up.
Basically, I was reminded that I do have love to give and am thus refusing to become cynical.
It’s well understood that much music — most notably, the blues — is created in the midst of pain, and as a musician myself I’ve experienced that a number of times. It isn’t pleasant at the time but can lead to beauty in the end.
Six years ago I did a big-band arrangement of a tune I had composed a quarter-century earlier under similar circumstances; though I thought the tune was good, though simple, it took on a whole different air once I started working on the arrangement. After I finished it and my band went through it, our then-singer called it “heartfelt” — and I knew in that instant that I had succeeded. It has become the closest thing I have to a masterpiece, though I’d written many charts before and have since.
A few years ago I learned another, this one spiritual, reason for going through heartbreak; I actually heard from God, “Now you know how I feel.” Time and time again He waits for us to come to Him but we run away, perhaps because we’re afraid to trust, and that grieves Him. But this time, rather than share my affliction with others, I went to Him first.
Indeed, the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
That sympathy helped me recently, as on Sunday just after a service I spotted a churchmate whom I knew had recently lost her father to death and waited for her to give her an extended hug. As she sobbed into my shoulder I was thinking, This is what it’s all about.
Don’t get me wrong — I still have to go through the process and face the temptation to short-circuit it. But on the other hand, a part of me can’t wait to see just what else will come from it. As written in Psalms 30:5b, “[W]eeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”