Saturday, July 3, 2010

Joy and sleep deprivation.

I am shamelessly cribbing an excerpt from Chesterton's Orthodoxy sent by a dear friend. In these days of sleep deprivation, I find it impossible to conceal my tears and suffering. It is good to be reminded that He never tried.

"Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. And as I close this chaotic volume, I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who have ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on his open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet he concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the temple, And asked the men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell..."



Joy is often a hidden thing; I am even sometimes unaware of it within myself. But when it shines forth, suddenly, in an unexpected moment... it is then that I know the truth that Teresa of Avila spoke: There is One alive in my very center whose eternal joy cannot be quenched. I know He lives, not because of a philosophical proof, but because in the midst of tears I find myself laughing. Divine mirth.

"Yet he restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that he covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth."

4 comments:

Maica Kozak said...

:) love you all very much!

Melanie B said...

Erika,

That's one of my favorite passages from Orthodoxy.

Prayers for you and your sleep deprivation. I'll try to offer up some of my own tears and suffering for you.

Annita, Mom2Seven said...

Sweet picture of your girls! You have my continued prayers... +JMJ+

claire said...

Good post.
I often think how Jesus was a very emotional person and how He did not hide it. It is something women are shamed for doing, and something men are ashamed to do sometimes.
If we had known Him as He walked around, I think we would have had the same reaction as others: we have never known anyone quite like this!