Monday, March 26

Beautiful Burden

We are creatures of labor and worry in a predictable world of unpredictably difficult and ever changing circumstances. When the burden we carry is heavy, it is wise to navigate it rather than simply suffer it. Special friends to share the load are one of life's choicest blessings. One painful step at a time, you move forward together. It doesn't hurt to adorn yourselves in beautiful colors.

(Iraqi women)

Burdens, however, are deceptive. The burden of uniformity has purpose to be sure, but the cost is often prohibitive.

(Hostesses in Beigin, China)

The burden of perfection can be an intoxicating and terrible task-master. We can't help but admire it when we see it, yet few of us are willing to invest ourselves in the attempt.

The bizarre and puzzling is a unique burden ~ or Art, depending upon your perspective.

The burden of security and power casts a very large and far-reaching shadow.

Faith can be a burden. The devotion associated with it may seem difficult, yet those who yield a little more of themselves toward the sacred are usually better for it. Consecration requires intentionality.

(Myanmar boy embarking on Buddhist ritual)

Curiosity is a lovely burden. It is after all the impetus for desire that feeds the quest to know.
(Antennae galaxies)

A Season of Life can be an exhausting burden that feels like it will never end . . .

Where you call home can be a burden. Truly meaningful struggle by nature is a lonely and totally committed prospect.

We comfort ourselves and think, "As long as that conflict is removed from my home!" This disconnect affords us comfortable viewing of the many faces of struggle. This is a mistake. We should give pause to such human expressions. We should see instead the shared burden of struggle and honor its tendency to generate powerful results.

(Syrian mother with portrait of son killed by government forces)

Leaving too early is a burden ~

(Daniel Parmertor funeral; school shooting victim)

but only to those suddenly left behind.

Arriving too early is an awesome burden. Our helplessness in either situation makes us feel small.

Large and terrifically complex issues threaten and burden our world. Many of these are things we never planned on and never invited into our lives but are the direct result of extraneous influences. It shakes our foundations.

It hurts. We feel discouraged.

The burden of our discouragement is very real and unique to our individual circumstances. This is a good thing because it also means our discouragement is appropriate to where we are and who we are.

God intended for the smallest of things

(newborn Jack Tanner)

to remind us our burdens (whatever they are) are only temporary.

(Leiland Tanner & newborn MaKenna)

Life is good. Miracles happen every day.

It is our divine capacity to rise above conflicts and disappointments that shatter the negative concept of "burden". Life experience is not valuable if we are simply dragging it behind us. As children of God we eat challenges for breakfast. The resilience of the human spirit is a viable and formidable force. Anything common can be viewed as uncommonly moving. It just depends on if we are indebted to anger, fear and doubt, or if we are willing to dive headlong into the thick of it.

(JOY within the bloody Myanmar Kachin conflict)

Burdens teach us HAPPINESS is elusive; it tugs impatiently at the string, anxious to escape our tentative grasp.

(Jackson Tanner)

It invites us to come out and play,

(Rachel Tanner & Melanie Hale)

to do new things and take dramatic risks.

(Leiland as Joseph in "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat")

(James' brilliant first professional airbrush attempt: Neil Armstrong on the Moon for our mural project @ the Maricopa County Hospital)

Happiness invites us to accept the burden of hard work and fully embrace our dreams

(Robin Tanner and Brooke BYU Graduation)

and each other.
(Leiland Tanner & sisters Asia, Robin & Rachel at his wedding reception)
(James, Jack & Trisha Tanner)
(Robin & Christian Markanich)

(Leiland & Chelsey Tanner)

Looking forward to whatever comes as potentially wonderful, and really trusting our innate ability to make it so

(MaKenna Tanner)
is the magic of viewing any burden as something beautiful,


and is the ultimate definition of Hope.