I’ve been thinking again about the complexity of joy. In the very last line of a reading from the book of Ezra, the historian writes “the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping. And there, I think, we have it, the doorway to joy, the reality of our mixed lives, our living with the now and the not yet. There we are pitching our tents around the small campfires lit of divinity, the small fires kindling the hearts that beat in our wondrous, fragile bodies; the laughter that wells up even as we gather in some deep sorrow.
The gratitude for the ordinary word that offers something to hold onto when our world is hurting.
The hot murmuring of God in our ears in a stone-cold moment.
Joy is, as Jan Richardson says, “fierce but fragile but fierce”.So, let us light the candle of Joy, in congregations, in our home, in our heart perhaps saying,
Breathing in, I pause . . .
Breathing out, I am still . . .
Laying aside fear and self-protectiveness
I open to Joy
within this moment.
(The candle is lit. )
Pause in the light of the candle before “changing the light” with your candle snuffer.
See the light of Joy that in the flame was in one place now spreading out throughout the room and beyond.
You can read an earlier reflection on Joy here.
I love to broaden and deepen the conversations that arise from these tiny texts so I’m always glad when you share or drop me a line.
Joy to you ~