A curious thing to be grateful for, I suppose. But in a way, I am grateful for the journey through Lent and Good Friday, because without the sorrow of that day, the joy of Easter would be meaningless. How can we emerge into the Light if we have not experienced the darkness?
If we come to church only for the celebrations, we are missing much of the truth and meaning contained in our faith story. I read this recently: "We live in a culture that wants to deny the hard realities. That wants to move from celebration to celebration and not name the darkness...the faith story, imho, makes absolutely no sense without the "gloomy bits". And it also seems to have less in common with real life if we only talk about the glory and not the gloom." It is during this time of the Christian year that I feel closest to the divine within me, when my faith is strengthened, when I am moved in ways I cannot articulate. This part of our story carries me through my own dark times, knowing that those times too will pass, and I will again be filled with hope and joy.
The poet Gibran writes: The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Words of wisdom and deep meaning.
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.
As always, each Friday I invite you to click over to Diana Strinati Baur's blog and check out the other Gratitude Friday Club blogs...