my friend sacha

i met sacha on an airplane 10 years ago. there we sat, strangers side by side, belting out christmas carols while passengers rolled their eyes and stared out the window.

yesterday we once again sat, side by side, watching a movie called ‘ps. i love you.’

one of the reasons i love sacha is for her inquisitive mind. a mind which relentlessly pursues truth on an hourly basis. a mind which itches from society’s boxed-in standards and life’s consistent contradictions. a mind which longs to break free from religion and into the reality of relationship.

as we watched the grief-stricken movie sacha and i were quick to disdain the pat-answer ending where another man steps in to ease the widow’s broken heart.

“shouldn’t the process of passing through grief be fulfilling enough?” sacha asked, eyes sparking.

i noticed the way her forehead furled up like a wrinkled leaf. “why did they have to hollywoodize this? i’m sure she doesn’t need another person to fill the gap her husband left. she needs the fulfillment of letting go and simply being.”

i agreed, full-heartedly, feeling high on sacha’s enlightened thinking. then we turned back to the screen and noticed the widow’s trembling sobs, the way she couldn’t breathe, couldn’t even find herself anymore because her husband was no longer on earth. and it struck me: i have no idea what it is like to lose someone close to me. death is so final. that person is never, ever coming back. how could i dare assume she would never need anyone else?

and that’s when sacha and i turned to each other and said: “everything is cliche until we’ve gone through it ourselves.”

perhaps that’s why pain is necessary. perhaps it authenticates everything that’s beautiful: hope, faith, love.

this is sacha playing in leaves in korea, where she and i taught english


1 Comment

  1. Allie said,

    October 6, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    wow. I want to delve into relationship with Christ in theory… without the pain of relating to him in his sufferings and tears for his children. but I can’t! Ember, you made such a good point here & I want to say thanks for that! It is hard to let go of our perfect little cliches and neat-sounding arguments – – to be open for change and trials and aching transformation. Thanks for reminding us to desire the REAL stuff: hope, faith & love – even if they only come through fire. love you!

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