I’m sitting here asking myself where I find joy. I’m staring down dementia, depression, poverty, and pain in my day to day life. I spent twenty years of my life in dark depression. Some days if feels like my losses are more than my gains.
I find myself continually going back to the powerful words of Frederick Buechner when he wrote that pain is not the biggest thing to ever happened to you. The problem is that we give it more weight than beauty or glory. We let it brand us and it leaves us wanting.
A few years ago, I really needed to see the goodness of God and it led me to spend every day for a year documenting the beauty I saw each day. It could be the face of one of my children, nature, the kindness of my husband or friend, healing, and good food.
This search led me onto a new adventure of sorts. Seeking beauty took me to Haiti. It took me to serving the homeless. It took me to reaching out to people in pain. I have discovered so much joy and beauty sitting in poverty and holding hands with those trapped in darkness that it hurts me when I cannot physically be there. The Lord is near to the broken hearted. You can feel Him in those spaces quietly, mysteriously binding up wounds. My joy is being near to Him in that. The sweet awareness of the presence of God is a source of life that cannot be put out. When we strip life down to the bare minimum and enjoy the most simple pleasures of serving, or giving place, or loving a child, joy seems to be the glimmer that reminds our hearts of home, the fact that we are well-loved resonates within.
All Joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still about to be. C.S. Lewis
May you find joy,
Steph Cherry and her husband, Denbigh attend and serve at Christ Our King Anglican in New Braunfels, Texas. They have three beautiful daughters. Learn more about Steph at http://www.stephaniecherry.com.