"Seasons had come and gone; presidents in Kabul had been inaugurated and murdered; an empire had been defeated; old wars had ended and new ones had broken out. But Mariam had hardly noticed, harldy cared. She had passed these years in a distant corner of her mind. A dry, barren field, out beyond wish and lament, beyond dream and disillusionment. There, the future did not matter. And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake, and its accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion. And whenever those twin poisonous flowers began to sprout in the parched land of that field, Mariam uprooted them. She uprooted them and ditched them before they took hold...
The years had not been kind to Mariam. But perhaps, she thought, there were kinder years waiting still. A new life, a life in which she would find the blessings that Nana had said a harami like her would never see. Two new flowers had unexpectedly sprouted in her life, and she pictured (her former teacher) leaning in and whispering to her in his soft, tremulous voice, But it is God Who has planted them, Mariam jo. And it is His will that you tend to them. It is His will, my girl."
I find it sad that too many people view love and hope as an illusion. I find it even sadder that many people, like Mariam, uproot them when they do try to sprout. There are some people that I talk to and try to show an upside to that just abandon all hope and try to show me how the positive side of a situation just isn't possible. It's the classic "glass is half empty" scenario. People, I just can't live that way! If there is still water in the glass then dang it, there's hope! Don't talk to me about your sad life unless you're willing to see the positive as well. It's there, I promise. It's OK to gripe and complain about all the stupid stuff that happens in the day to day, but keep your eye on the big picture and you'll see the hope there.
I've been thinking a lot about love lately and reflecting on the crazy things it makes you do. Some of the things are good, some bad, and some just have consequences that we can't always judge the sanity of. I'm sure God created love in His image. He wants it to be a blessing in our lives and I'm certain that from the giving end all is well. But what about the receivers of that love? What happens when the love is not reciprocated, or worse yet, abused? How do we deal with the hurt that lies in the hearts of others and the problems we see developing from love given too freely? I know none of this makes sense without specific situations to reference them to, but maybe it will touch some one's heart in a positive way. I suppose I had some specific and non-specific thoughts in mind as I formulated those questions, but I assure you they were not directed at anyone in particular. It's just my mind running rampant again.
My final thought related to this quote is about the last paragraph. Mariam concludes that she really does have love and hope right in front of her and she clings to that. Not only does she see it, but she puts a face and a name to it. Although she pictures her teacher and his voice, it is the words of God where her faith really lie. God planted the seeds of love and hope in her life. He cares. He wants her to tend to them. His will be done.
Is faith in God the most important thing in this life? Is it that faith that is the key ingredient to developing and recognizing hope and love? "They say that those who have found love once are likely to find love again." This statement makes a lot more sense if you consider what it takes to develop faith. I'm sure you can find love without faith in God, but I bet it takes faith in something. My favorite thing about the above quote is that the line about God is from her teacher that preached out of the Koran. I love that God is God in many different languages, cultures, and religions. I think we all pray to, worship, and have faith in the same God, no matter where we are.