I was taken with a quote by Khalil Gibran the other day as I was reading a book by New Testament scholar, Ken Bailey. Some of you will remember that Khalil Gibran is best known for his book, The Prophet, which was first published in 1923 and today has been translated in over 100 languages. That book was all the rage in my youth. I thought it was sort of odd religious stuff but there was no question it had some moments of profound thought. Anyway, Gibran was born Lebanese and American and was raised as a Maronite Christian. The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic church of Lebanon. Gibran is both a poet and visual artist.
So here’s the quote that caught my attention: “When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” When I read it I first thought about my three sons who are no longer at home. This is, of course, a good thing for them. They have grown and flown away. They have their own lives, and I am proud of them. But I miss this, sometimes terribly and then I am sad. But that sadness is rooted in these three sons who have been and really still are my delight. How lucky I am to have three sons I love so much!
The second thing I thought about was the loss with this pandemic. I miss being with people. I miss being able to join together in church. I miss singing together. I miss shopping and family picnics and reading to my granddaughter snuggled up together on the couch. I miss people. I know you do too. But as I think about this sadness, I am reminded that these things I miss have been my delight for years. How lucky I am to have been with so many people over the years, to have had wonderful relationships and shared moments of loving company. And I am confident these moments will happen again, but in the mean time I am trying to be grateful that I have so many delights that I now miss! There are lots of people who have not had the delights I now grieve.
When I am sorrowful for the things that are “no more” or sorrowful that things have changed, I am trying to pause and remember to give thanks that I had such wonderful opportunities to delight and rejoice in pleasures and people I have loved.
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