Steps Toward Joy

I spent my morning devotional time in Matthew’s gospel. Chapters 8 and 9. I ponder the work of the master as he gives movement to a paralytic, sight to the blind, speech to someone who could not speak and even life to one who had died. Also, in that list of miracles is a woman whose life was poured out– the life is in the blood– for 12 years.

I realize how easy it is to regard these stories as little more than that, perhaps even legend. Yet, as a follower of Jesus, these are more than stories. They are not fiction, but recollections of observers. Moreover, they represent events that, because they are true, shed light on the nature of our world.

It is at this point that I remember Wendell Berry’s words in Jayber Crow. I stopped, just now, and reviewed that section – – I have it stored among my quotations. I wanted to revisit the imagery that came in the writing. He spoke of the roof being blown off the house so you could see the night sky. He also spoke of being like a bird trapped in a house trying to get out through a window pane and then later, actually finding an opening. Perhaps, that is what it’s like when we finally make peace with the idea that healings and resurrections are part of the world and not just myths and legends. If such things happen, then the world is not an enclosure without an opening; not a box with the lid tightly shut, but a place of waiting; a place of promise and hope. To see the world in that way ought to make us optimists, patient and purposeful. Perhaps, having the roof blown off is the key to Joy.