And it's hard so you can know what's right,
And rain, nothing ever grows without you.
And hurt is just a chance to heal,
And tears are just a call to feel,
And pain, beauty's just a word without you.
— "Beauty's Just a Word," Rachael Lampa
As human beings, pain is not something we enjoy. In fact, we seem to do everything in our earthly power to avoid it. Men who seem so bold and fierce at home can turn into cowards when exposed to the true horrors of the battlefield. We rush for the ibuprofen at the slightest hint of a headache coming to call; a cough grants you a visit to the doctor's office. Emotional heartbreak can rip even the strongest apart.
I am often told that we should appreciate pain more as we should appreciate the little things in life, that beauty can be found in the suffering, that it brings you closer to the Lord — all of which are very true. But the song lyrics I included above bring a new thought into this spectrum:
Without pain, beauty is just a word.
Imagine you live in a world that is completely and utterly pain-free. There is no sadness, no misery, no hurt, no tears — it is essentially heaven on earth. Do you think beauty would be full appreciated in this utopia? Or would the inhabitants of this make-believe world take it for granted, or even worse, barely even realize it?
Unfortunately, the latter is more likely to be the case.
It's not about appreciating the beauty in pain. Without pain, there would be no beauty. It would exist, but no one would pay it any heed. It would seem as common as the dust on your shoes after a summer walk in the country. Because of darkness, we can better see the light. Because of hardship, we know the difference between right and wrong. And without rain, nothing would ever grow.
It is undoubtedly simple for me to write this now, reclined luxuriously on the couch, in no danger of imminent pain. But this is often the case. We write our boldest and most valiant words when we ourselves are at no risk of facing the dangers we name. The true test comes when we do stand in open combat, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. It is in those circumstances that our true colors are shown.
Because of the pain of this world, His beauty and love can shine in contrast.
And holding on is gonna see you through,
So don't let go, no matter what you do,
And love through the anger, love through the pain,
Love through the storm and love through the rain.