"Be joyful though you have considered all the facts."  Wendell Berry

I've been thinking about joy lately.

Because Joy to the World and all that.

I've been pondering the question:  what is joy?

I think it's a bit like Justice Potter Stewart's struggle to describe porn: "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

Joy is like that.  Here are some of the places I saw joy this year.

In my granddaughter's sweet little face.

In the beauty of the sea and sand and sky.

In remembrance and repentance, in the resolution to never again disrespect or destroy fellow image-bearers.

In stopping to look, to really look, at the everyday.

In growing things.

In art.

In being-with. 

And it just occurs to me that all the places where I find Joy are the places where I come face to face with Love.  

Every time I recognize Love, I feel Joy.

I recognize Love in a field of wildflowers: I feel Joy.

I recognize Love in the creative work of an artist:  I feel Joy.

I recognize Love in the intentions of another:  I feel Joy.

I recognize Love in the face of my best beloveds:  I feel Joy.

And it occurs to me that maybe Joy is just this simple: seeing the Love, all around me.

And whatever the facts, however dark the world happens to be today, LOVE IS.


Without beginning or end.



With Us.


And the darkness cannot overcome it.


And so Joy is, too.

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