“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
— THORNTON WILDER (1897–1975)
With the rawness of the emotion we meet, there is courage required with which to greet.
When the stodginess of pride succumbs to the meek affordability of grace, then, and only then, do we venture in a sheltered dignity with God, protected by divine shade, to look at our nemesis and not run; to know that the Lord will stand with us.
Without the splendour of anger, the caustic embroiling emotions, there is the serenity of reason which is serendipitously beyond reason; a mystery of God.
What do all these mean?
There is a blessedness in surrendering within the moment’s pain; but many do not go this way, because they prefer their control. Controlling the emotions is, many times, a folly.
Engaging with Our Primary Emotions
Some emotions are painful in a messy way, whilst some are clean. Some are troubling; others are fruitful. Not any of the emotions, herein, are what we would call ‘positive’ emotions like enjoyment or awe. They’re the sort of emotions that captivate us to anger, disgust, fear and sadness.
The perfect response to the emotions that captivate us to anger, disgust, fear and sadness is a response that feels the feeling and truly feels it—without the compromise of denial.
Engaging with our primary emotions is a promise to ourselves to deal in truth. Only when we deal with the emotions in truth will we revert to experiencing emotions in the primary way—the raw and real reality that God has destined for us to experience.
LORD, Expand Upon Our ‘Treasures’
So, what are our treasures?
These are the things that touch us by the heart of God; everything emotional and by all means spiritual. Treasures are both the heights of joy and the depths of despair, for when we experience these we know we are fully alive. Our treasures are those possessions which we can only hold spiritually. They are the possessions that would not otherwise be considered possessions, but they are the realest of possessions in any event.
When we ask our Lord to expand upon our treasures we are asking him to give us the fullest quotient of experience regarding our feelings. For this we will need courage. And we might ask why we would put ourselves out to feel the rawness of our feelings.
It is simply this: as it is in the accounting world, where there is no risk in the emotional realm there is no return. Our risk needs to be hatched in courage.
When we feel our feelings in a genuine way, without running from them, we experience primary emotions. These emotions are God-blessed. By these, God provides a clean pain that facilitates healing.
We can trust pain that is hatched in truth. It is clean and it is real. It is the path to healing.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.