Thursday, May 2, 2013

Workshop 2013 Spring Week 5: Pathways to Joy

" is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising  circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes. Even nailed to a tree.”   Frederick Buechner

Joy is a little like riding a bike after neglecting it for years.  No matter how much time or sadness has passed, no matter how many tears we’ve cried, joy is something we never really lose our capacity for.  We smile through our tears, we dance with a limp, we feel it welling up right through our sorrow.  Unexpected joy is a drink of cold water for our souls, a glimpse of beauty in a desert, a sound no symphony could capture.

Pay attention. Without invitation, joy is sneaking into your life.  It comes to heal.  It reminds you and me that there is more to being human than pain.  There are funny babies and puppies. There are soothing sunsets and emerging spring life . . . nests and nestlings, woods of color and newness of life.

And there is a God who loves you.  A God who delights in you.  A God who finds great joy in you.  A God who sneaks joy back into your life.

That slipped-in-laughter, that well-of-joy is a promise.  It shows us that we have not lost our capacity for abundant life.  In time, we will find ourselves back on the bicycle, wind in our hair, head thrown back, laughing again with a capacity we never knew before we experienced grief.

Pay attention. Joy is a mystery.

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