“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Diamond,” she replied, and quickly looked away.
“That’s a beautiful name. Diamonds are forever.”
Diamond sighed. She was tired of that old line. She often wondered why her parents had given her that name. Perhaps, she thought, they were prescient. Diamond often felt that she had to be tough like a diamond under the pressure of life. She often felt that she was continually scraped and polished. She wondered when it would end and what she would be like at the end. Would she find her sparkle? Would she be beautiful? In this moment she felt raw and rough.
So much loss. Right now, Diamond was on her way to her best friend’s funeral.
“Do you get that a lot?”
“What?” Diamond had forgotten about her talkative travel “companion” who had been thrust upon her. At least, that’s how it felt. She had been lost in her thoughts.
“Do a lot of people say to you, ‘diamonds are forever?’ By the way, my name is Jim.”
“More times than I can count.”
“I’m sorry,” Jim replied. “Oh look! what a glorious sunset!”
Grudgingly, Diamond looked through the train window. The sunset was breathtaking in its beauty. “Life is funny,” she thought to herself. Here I am, filled with sorrow and yet there is so much beauty all around me, filling me with joy in the midst of my grief.
Indeed, life is beautiful.
“But . . .” you may say, “what about natural disasters, death, disease, violence, ruptured relationships, and. . . .”
Yes. There is a part of life you would like to avoid. People come in and go out of your life. Sometimes the transition is smooth. At other times it is abrupt and wrenching. In all instances, you experience loss.
In addition, people may not be who you thought they were. You experience betrayal. You yourself disappoint others.
This is just a tip of the iceberg of things that disrupt life and leave you feeling as if life is hard, unfair, filled with tragedy, depressing. But, that is not all there is to life, is there?
Life is beautiful. Look around at creation. Consider the love of family and friends. That in itself is a gift. There are so many loving and kind actions. Moreover, God is present with love and grace.
In the mornings, the birds call us to praise. When we take the time to pause, we see beauty around is. Life is also filled with wonderful surprises. And, yes, even in the midst of destruction you can discern a certain type of beauty.
As the view of sunset receded, Diamond thought of her friend whom she had lost. She smiled a little as she remembered her friend’s generous spirit. She recalled the times they had shared and thought of how fortunate she had been to have such a supportive and beautiful person in her life.
“It is beautiful,” Diamond said, turning to Jim. “Thank you.”
Life is beautiful. Do you see it?