"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
-St. Teresa of Calcutta
Suffering is not just an end within itself, but a means to produce and nourish greater love. Since we are all created by Love, out of love, to love, and to return back to this Source of Love, we should not be afraid of fulfilling our call to love. We will know we are exhibiting true love when it hurts, for true love inherently entails suffering since it reflects and participates in the sacrificial Love of God- that love which led Him to willingly suffer and die for our sake. As such, there can always be something beautiful and redemptive in the love that is produced from suffering.
This drawing attempts to depict the reality that true, agape love can only be forged through pain and suffering. A pair of bruised, bleeding hands hold onto each other as red roses blossom from the open wounds. These roses represent the love and beauty produced from suffering, and they in turn give new life, as portrayed by the butterfly coming to rest on one. Initially looking at the piece, one will likely first be drawn to the beauty of the flowers, while the underlying wounds remain less noticeable- this represents how the love produced from the pain surpasses the wounds it grew out from. I have also received an outside perspective state that the wounds seem to resemble "reversed stigmata." I find this idea interesting as Christ's Stigmata are certainly proof of His Love for humanity, and in the same way, our own wounds ought to serve as proof of our sacrificial love for one another.
watercolor & colored pencil on paper
23 x 29 in (framed)