*I saw raindrops on my window, joy is like the rain. Laughter runs across my pain, slips away and comes again. Joy is like the rain. *I saw clouds upon a mountain, joy is like a cloud. Sometimes silver, sometimes gray, always sun not far away. Joy is like a cloud. *I saw Christ in wind and thunder, joy is tried by storm. Christ asleep within my boat, whipped by wind, yet still afloat. Joy is tried by storm. *I saw raindrops on the river, joy is like the rain. Bit by bit the river grows till all at once it overflows. Joy is like the rain.
“Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian. The tremendous figure which fills the gospels towers above all thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. The Stoics were proud of concealing their tears. He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He flung furniture down the steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape damnation. Yet He restrained something. There was something that He hid when he went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or isolation. There was one thing that was too great for God to show us when he walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was his mirth.”
“The central story of my life is about nothing else.”
“Joy is not a substitute for sex; sex is often a substitute for joy.”
“When I think of ecstasy, my mind goes to a classroom in Bismarck, North Dakota. I was enjoying the lively company of second graders, and had encouraged them to move beyond ‘group poems’ on the blackboard to drawings and poems of their own. During my third morning with them, I reached into the pocket of my skirt, probably for a Kleenex or pencil, and pulled out a tiny scrap of paper. It was entirely covered with squiggles–nothing that even approximated letters. Despite its small size, I could appreciate the effort it had taken to write so densely on that paper. I had a good idea of who had slipped it into my pocket, a shy little boy, who looked at me, expectantly. I smiled to let him know I had found his gift. But there was nothing at all to say; it was a gift of wordless ecstasy.”
“Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).
“Happiness turns up more or less where you’d expect it to–a good marriage, a rewarding job, a pleasant vacation. Joy, on the other hand, is as notoriously unpredictable as the one who bequeaths it.”
“There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not (think they) need to repent” (Luke 15:7).
“What I can remember with immediacy and vividness are moments of blessedness: sitting with my first baby in the Public Gardens in Halifax; walking through the woods in the mountains I loved; standing in the kitchen being jumped by joy for no reason whatsoever. You can’t arrange these moments; they simply arrive when it’s possible to experience them, if you’re willing to stop for them.”
“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5). “The Lord your God will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:20).