“It gave me time to be still and be alone. It gives you time to process the painful things” –Marlaina Smith
Fiction. Based on a True Struggle to Find Beauty in Pain
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional
Mosaics are made of broken pieces; the ultimate symbol of shattered pieces being turned into something beautiful. Like a glass poem. There’s something in turning the tangled, shattered mess into something lovely that you’ve been drawn to. You’ve seen it woven together in the poems and writings by the greats. Turning pain into prose. It uplifts the brokenness to a higher level, making it almost romantic and ethereal.
But you worry that not all your pain can be made beautiful. You can’t piece it together to make a lovely scene. You can’t seem to use the tears to make anything like those Raphaelite paintings with tragic characters wearing serene faces. Life is not like that.
You know the Lord makes beauty from ashes, using stories and moments of pain to glorify. You know the songs; you’ve sung them many times in the moments of despair. You’ve read stories your whole life with the theme of transforming suffering into something more. From Hemingway to Keats, it’s been taught to you and drawn you in.
But life doesn’t always feel like it can be made picturesque. You can’t always capture it with the lines of prose or turn it into an In Memoriam. The moments exist, raw, aching, and unrefined. Just broken shards you can’t put into a pattern. It’s not marble shaped by Michelangelo or cracks filled with gold.
Still, you continue to seek the beauty in the pain because otherwise, the suffering is for nothing. Not moonlight on broken glass but mud in a puddle. Not the trill of a sad violin but screeching and crashing. Not scars to be admired for what you’ve endured or tears to water future blooms. Not every morning brings epiphanies. There aren’t golden raises that bring promises of a new day. It can’t be dressed up in adjectives and candied sentences to cover the brokenness to the point that it’s unrecognizable. Deep pain is not ethereal or ephemeral. It is ugly and bloody.
Or maybe that’s your mindset. Maybe you aren’t seeking out the joy in the suffering. Maybe you’re afraid the beauty will belittle the pain. Didn’t scripture say to count it a joy to suffer? You know this, but some days don’t feel like it gets any easier.
Still, you hope beauty will come out of the pain, otherwise what hope is there? You put your faith in the promise spoken over you, waiting for when your suffering can be used for good.