The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Remembering joy

For years I had shut my eyes to joy; now I relive each blessed moment

My Christmas gift arrived last May. Working with spiritual autobiographies, digging into the religious stories of others, I began to review my own.

My gift was an unexpected euphoric recognition that — despite poverty, war, loss, illness and a near-death experience — my life has been joyful.

I discovered a deep "yes" bubbling up in my heart, and "to say 'yes' to one moment of our existence is to say 'yes' to our whole existence — and to existence itself," says German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

I began to understand what G.K. Chesterton, the English Catholic author, may have meant when he suggested, "There was something that [Jesus] hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. ... 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."

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