Monday, July 13, 2009

Seeing small, beautiful joys

This hangs over my desk at work, and I wanted to share it with all of you:

I am not accustomed to rejoicing in things that are small, hidden, and scarcely noticed by the people around me....

Somehow I have become accustomed to living with sadness, and so have lost the eyes to see the joy and the ears to hear the gladness that belongs to God and which is to be found in the hidden corners of the world....

[Seeing the small and beautiful] is a real discipline. It requires choosing for the light even when there is much darkness to frighten me, choosing for life even when the forces of death are so visible, and choosing for the truth even when I am surrounded by lies....The reward of choosing joy is joy itself....There is so much rejection, pain, and woundedness among us, but once you choose to claim the joy hidden in the midst of all suffering, life becomes celebration. Joy never denies the sadness, but transforms it to a fertile soil for more joy.

from The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

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