Rejoice with those who rejoice.
As I sat not writing at my keyboard a couple of nights ago, I received the message. The young man at the other end had just received good news. He had to tell someone.
It didn’t matter that it was after midnight. A light had blazed into his darkness and he needed to share the wonder.
I read the words and, even though I couldn’t actually see him, saw the smile that had spread across his face.
I messaged him back. I‘m smiling with you.
I’m smiling as I think about his news, even now.
Good news shared is a blessing doubled.
I always want to rejoice with folks who are rejoicing. Except when I don’t.
Yeah. You know what I mean, don’t you?
I was in the middle of a good pout when the young man’s message arrived the other night. I’ve been in the middle of the pout for awhile now. Call it what you want—depressed, sad, unhappy, disappointed—it’s still a pout.
Things aren’t going the way I want. Perhaps more to the point, life isn’t working out the way I’d planned. It seems the road map I was following was a little flawed.
Sometimes, when your soul feels heavy and is burdened down, you simply want to be left alone with your misery. And yet, when that beam of light shines into your darkness, the reaction is automatic and instantaneous.
I stood in the light with the joyful young man and I smiled.
Joy spills over.
It does. But sometimes the beam of light is short-lived and the joy fades into the gloom of disappointment once more.
I sat with another young man this afternoon and unburdened my soul. I thought he needed to know—and oddly enough, he seemed to want to know—what I was feeling. Tears were in my eyes when I looked up again. Looking into his eyes, I saw tears in them, too.
Weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)
Do you understand the power in those words?
I do. Now.
I looked at his tears and was reminded that it hasn’t been many months since his tears were shed over the tiny body of a still-born baby. He (and his sweet wife) are grieving still and will for years to come. We spoke of that also and the tears came again.
Sorrow shared is a burden lightened.
The day will come when we will celebrate the end to all sorrows and disappointments. No more separation. No more loss. No more death.
The day will come. It’s not here yet.
Today, we walk this world of mixed joys and regrets, victories and defeats. Our celebrations are tempered with foreboding of dark times yet to come.
The Teacher instructed His followers to walk in love for each other and promised that, as a consequence, they would give witness of His great love to a watching world. (John 13:34,35)
Surely He intended that to be done in the center of the world’s marketplace and not only in their cloistered meeting places.
He never suggested it would be the rule in mortuaries, but not on the street corners.
If it is to be witnessed, it must be done in public places.
We rejoice. We grieve.
Fellowship along both paths touches our spirits with His love.
Tonight, I’m smiling.
Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.
(Albert Schweitzer ~ French-German theologian ~ 1875-1965)
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 ~ NLT)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.