The Thorns of the Flesh

Human Person is adequately considered as unique.  Though society may not equally value it, nonetheless, it still constitutes the value of “being able” of the person.  Through and by uniqueness we enjoy the dignity and respect.  But, would you still agree that in the midst of contradiction we are still adequately considered unique?  Can you still say, “I am unique” despite the fact that the realm of the thorns of the flesh in our lives is real and undeniable?  What drove me to say these things?  I would like to tell you about my experiences in relation with this subject.  At the peak of my restlessness and in my vocation journey, at first, I always feel the guilt and the shame on myself whenever the thorns of the flesh deeply sieged me.  It is hard for me to accept this fact, which definitely humiliates and belittles my personhood, particularly, my spirituality.  I would like to get rid of this worldly desire but I cannot. I cannot escape from it despite my effort to exhaust all the possible means at my best. It is really inevitable.  At times, whenever it disrupts me, I feel I’m in pain and in distress.  However, it helps me to realize and appreciate the uniqueness in me, even more.  Thus, by means of appreciating it I get to discover the value of “being able” within me.  I realized that the goodness within could be more appreciated once we start to appreciate and accept our weaknesses.

By embracing and accepting the thorns of the flesh is similar in loving an enemy. Loving an enemy is the most difficult thing to do, so with the thorns of the flesh, which I practically consider as a curse in my life.  But, we use to say, “a real rose always has thorns”.  Applying this maxim personally, which I only discovered now, as I am reflecting upon the situations of being sieged by the thorns of the flesh, the uniqueness within me does not only come from where I am good at, but also from my weaknesses, incapabilities and also from the shadows of my life. I realized only through theses aspects that “a real person or a unique person cannot be separated from thorns.”  As I am struggling to love and accept the thorns of the flesh in me, I also realized that when weaknesses abound, the grace of God abounds all the more. This is not something abstract, but it’s real. It is REAL because it is a first-hand experience.

With the thorns of the flesh, we can still affirm that we are adequately considered as unique.  From my experiences, even in the midst of contradiction in life, we can still affirm to ourselves that we are still beautiful and pleasing in the eyes of the Beholder.  The beauty and the uniqueness within us are not only distinguishable in the capacities, talents, successes, honors, prestige, popularities or ranks we could have.  Even in our thorns of the flesh we are still beautiful and unique just like the rose; “a real rose always has thorns.”

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