"Abbye, walk carefully in the night."
Profound? Actually, just a word of caution from an old friend upon our departure from Starbucks tonight. But it seemed profound, so I had to include it!
This post is about what we've gone through, lived with, carried together.
When we turn the pages of magazines, change the channel on the television and click NEXT on our browser to read the next blog entry, we will see a lot of looking back on that year we knew as 2011.
Musicians and actresses will be heralded as the 'best of'; red carpet walkers will hear, "What were they thinking?!"; and Biggest Loser contestants may resolve to make this the year to finally gain control of a life that's spun out of control for far too long, chronicling for us viewers the straws that broke the camel's back in the final months of this last year.
But if most of are honest, this year, and all the ones before and ahead, are sorrow together with joy. Sorrow because things are not right; joy because this is life lived incarnate, being word in flesh, because Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Sorrows are real. Friends sit in darkened living rooms from unpaid utility bills and unexamined hearts. Children suffer under the evil of abusive caregivers, powerless to escape, believing this is what family is doomed to be. Truth without grace crushes; grace without truth cheats one from real depth.
Yet, the joy is real, too! A neighbor and community volunteer, whose heart beats for the children who play on our streets, has found gladness in paid work. Employment, praise God! Music is created and shared and loved in our living rooms and front porches. Meals are cooked and laughter is heard in the kitchen.
Once more, another year later, we remember that joy and sorrow can dwell together; after all, the rest of us do...