This is a real discipline. It requires choosing for the light even when there is much darkness to frighten me, choosing for life even when the forces of death are so visible, and choosing for the truth even when I am surrounded with lies. I am tempted to be so impressed by the obvious sadness of the human condition that I no longer claim the joy manifesting itself in many small but very real ways. The reward of choosing joy is joy itself. There is so much rejection, pain, and woundedness among us, but once you choose to claim the joy hidden in the midst of all suffering, life becomes celebration. Joy never denies the sadness, but transforms it to a fertile soil for more joy.
~ Henri J.M. Nouwen
I just recently came across the work of Henri J.M. Nouwen and he just blows my mind with his honesty and big, beautiful heart. What a compassionate soul! Hopefully you don’t mind the spider web associated with finding joy in small but real ways. Spider webs make me think of Charlotte’s Web and, well, couldn’t we all use someone telling us that we’re ‘Fantastic’ or ‘Some Pig’? Nouwen helps me understand that God is saying this in his own way ‘You are my beloved. In you my favor rests’ it can just be a challenge to hear it, let alone take it to heart, among the din of our secular world.