It’s a funny thing when you realize that you forgot about the very thing that used to occupy the majority of your thoughts. You sit up in wonder and in awe that the thing in which once brought you to your knees, is now something that only resurfaces on the rare occasion.
There’s a quote by one of my favorite poets that says:
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. (Khalil Gibran)
I found myself in tears of joy tonight at something once would have completely wrecked my life. And for the first time in years, I understood a piece of redemption. No longer just head knowledge, my heart finally caught up to all the things I’ve been told are true. And at last, something that Jesus spoke to me months ago finally made sense.
I spent my life thinking that redemption was similar to a picture of patching up an old pair of jeans that had been tattered and torn. I thought it was “fixing the problem” as to make the thing useful again, not necessarily pretty to look at, but functional. And today, I finally learned that redemption is when you cannot tell the jeans have even been worn. Redemption and healing of the heart is nothing short of miraculous. Because just as you cannot make an old pair of jeans seem new again, neither can a heart be fully whole without something that goes beyond human ability.
How can that which used to leave me in utter despair and brokenness, now be the source of the melodic laughter escaping my mouth? How can tears of relief and freedom come from the same eyes that once wept tears of sorrow? Because I believe that Gibran was right.
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
And isn’t it true? The very thing that caused my wounds, is now the source from which I draw joy. Because the deeper I feel one, the greater my ability to receive the other. I am grateful that I did not escape those things which caused brokenness, for if I had, I am now certain that I would not know such joy.