Life can be beautiful. In fact, it is. But life can also be ugly. Very ugly. What exactly is this two-sided thing called life? And why is it so hard to understand?
It's a paradox, really: beautiful, yet ugly. And we have to live life with both. Each of us has both residing in us, and we are constantly feeling the pull...the opposite pull, stretching us, making us into who we want to be but who we don't want to be at the same time.
There is the beautiful, the fully alive, the complete, the wholeness of the Divine. Yet, at the very same, we have the ugly, the broken, everything shameful and incomplete. This is the shattered identity that wars against our attempts at attaining the beautiful. This is what makes up life: we feel and know despair while still seeking hope; we taste the bitterness of our own sin while pleading for Divine forgiveness. And the only Mediator between those contrary ideals is the Savior, whose Grace leads us more toward the beautiful in spite of the presence of the ugly. We never get rid of both. No lost sinner presses toward the ugly that some small part of the beautiful does not remain. Neither does a God-following believer embrace the beautiful without experiencing the constant presence of the ugly. What then is life? Life is the ugly-beautiful, the realization that perfection, all beauty, won't be found until eternity. We must learn to live with both.