Friday, December 13

The Joy and Sorrow Twins

There is depth and meaning to sorrow.  It acknowledges that things are not as they should be, that something is deeply wrong in this life.  It groans and longs for the renewal of the decaying physical world and of our bodies and souls (Romans 8:19-23).  It yearns for pure and presently impossible connections with each other and with our Creator.  It understands individual hardships as part of the larger picture of humanity's suffering and wrong-doing.  Jesus was well-acquainted with sorrow (Isaiah 53:3).

A few months ago, a friend sent me this amazing and brainy article about "The Hidden Hope in Lament".  I've had cause to reflect on this and other sorrow-related topics lately.  Widow is a title strongly stamped with Career Victorian-style lament.  A creature of the past, like a ghost, and really kind of awkward to have around.

But it's really not that simple, because joy and sorrow can coexist strongly.  There is a lie that one must overcome the other to be significant, but in this life I'm coming to believe that both should rightly be embraced.

Without the joy alongside, there is no good result to sorrow - just brooding without solutions or hope.  Jesus,
"for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:2).
Joy knows that Jesus endured this pain because through it he could restore us to how we were meant to be: back with God, forgiven for everything we have done to separate us.  Clean, not condemned, full of every possibility He put in us.  Joy has faith that there is a superior definition to "good" than what we hold and comprehend, and that someday we won't need that faith anymore because we will actually see.

Joy knows that we are here to be part of this story, to act with the power that grabs at sorrow by the roots and will someday conquer it.

So, I can be a joyful, sad widow, an active and non-ghostly one.  I'm still kind of awkward to be around at times, but mostly for other reasons :)


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