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Day 66

Joy, too, must join the arsenal of morality.

For those starved for food suffer doubly by seeing us devour our food ungratefully. Those starved for love suffer doubly by seeing us push away our loved ones. We have a god who suffers on behalf of humanity. Where is the god who laughs on behalf of those who cannot laugh? Where is the god who is vicariously brim with joy?

This is a difficult idea to swallow. Let it lay on the tongue for awhile; taste its reasoning. The world lays itself before us, writhing in pain. So it seems. Is not everyone suffering? Do they not require that we suffer with them? Yes, yes, yes, but there is a suffering which dulls the mind and heart, and a suffering which saves. The suffering which saves is consumed by a joy which promises relief. When I laugh with my daughter with my whole heart and soul, I stave off the only real tragedy, which is not having enjoyed and loved her to the full. When I avoid this tragedy, I redeem the sighs of mothers and fathers with buried children around the world. I learn from them the value of attentive time to those we love; my enjoyment gives their tragedy meaning.

Lending and receiving meaning is, in the end, the only gift we can give. So your joy is no small thing.


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