I have a book on my shelf called ‘Take Joy’ and it’s about loving the craft of writing. When I’m typing at my computer, the title stands out because it’s all capital letters and it takes up the entire width of the spine, white on green. I like it there. It’s a reminder to find joy, even in the midst of: fear, nightmares, loss, and lack of inspiration. I did not put it on the shelf to stand out, but I’m often glad to see it.
This last weekend was full of the pain of violence and loss, and that terrible feeling you get when you cannot guarantee the outcome you’d like, at least here on Earth. Yet, we traveled in faith and love and held each other up. I wanted to hate everything about the place we went, but I couldn’t help but find beauty, peace, and a balm like that in Gilead. My brother, ever the explorer, had walked the grounds of the hotel which included many gardens, spiral staircases, alcoves with fountains and little balconies to look out over. He was there to guide the rest of us to these small patches of beauty.
We all cope with pain and loss in different ways and that has to be okay. Some need to face it head on and keep it out in front, and some need to believe that everything will work out some way, and some need to find the beauty in exploring for those places that will heal. We need all kinds.
“There is a balm in Gilead, to make the wounded whole.There is a balm in Gilead, to heal the sin-sick soul.”