The Sting of Joy

The Sting of Joy

This week’s inspiration is short, but deep—at least for me. It comes from a reference to C. S. Lewis, one of my favorite writers and thinkers.

Last week at church, Pastor Andy reminded us about Lewis’s writings on the sting of joy, the bitter-sweet nature of those complex moments that evoke a supreme happiness often marked by tears or melancholy.

Pastor Andy noted that sometimes our joy falls short because the celebrations are far different from last year. Perhaps someone we love is no longer with us, and we are struggling to meet grief with grace.

Then again, sometimes our joy falls short because the celebrations will be exactly the same. We hoped to be at a different place in our lives or with different people or with a heart a little fuller than the year before. But life has stalled, and we move through traditions on auto-pilot.

Despite all the joy around us during this holiday season, it may be lacking within us.

And it stings.

But why?

Of course, I had to google that!

According to scholar and theologian Dr. Jerry Root, C. S. Lewis defines joy as a “deep, deep seeded longing that is embedded in each of us, questing for its proper object.”

For example, we may long to go back to the place we grew up, but when we do, it’s not the same. Yet we long for it. Writer and philosopher G. K. Chester says, “It’s like being homesick in your own home.” We long for what we cannot have or for what we experience but know we cannot sustain.

How well I know this feeling, especially during this time of year! I miss my parents. My brother. My Aunt Pearl.

Going to Nana BsYet I know I will have such joy when my family arrives, especially my precious grandbaby Blakely Faye.

And then they will leave.

So perhaps I’ll approach this season determined to “kiss the joy” and strive to celebrate the present, the memories of what can no longer be, and the dreams of what is yet to come.

Wishing you many joys to kiss!

My best–always,

Becky  (Nana B)

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