Joy and Sorrow – Inseparable

Day 240  August 30, 2013

“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”  ― Charlotte Brontë

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“Make something with disposable chopsticks.  Or make unique chopsticks out of something else and try them out!”  -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

This week my husband and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary…let me just say “many many years.”  Today we shared a loving conversation over some exquisite Asian food (so I could gain a pair of chopsticks to do today’s assignment.)  Of course an Asian meal just isn’t finished in America until the fortune cookies are passed around.  He opened his first….”Share your joys and sorrows with your family.”  “Nice”, I thought.  Then I opened mine and read “Share your joys and sorrows with your family.”  What are the odds of that happening?  The two of us getting the exact same fortune!  Suddenly an image came to mind of a whole gigantic bag of fortune cookies to hand out to everyone in my congregation and community and they would all say the exact same thing….“Share your joys and sorrows with your family and congregation and community and God.”  The experience today brought to mind one of my favorite writings, “On Joy and Sorrow” by Kahlil Gibran.  It’s helped me get through some tough moments in my life and deepened my understanding of the purpose of sorrows.  It also keeps me grounded and grateful in my joy-filled celebrations.  May it in some way bless you, too, whether your life is leaning toward joy or you are suffering sorrow in this moment.  

On Joy and Sorrow Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. 

Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. 

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

About 365MissionalPractice

Love God, Love Christ, Love Others. I am passionate about creating Missional Relationships that encourage disciples to personify Christ's message. As a minister in a Community of Christ congregation in Virginia I am learning everyday what it means to be vulnerable, to risk, to experiment, to share in a world that needs the redemptive healing of Christ. View all posts by 365MissionalPractice

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