Sunday, May 29, 2011

Poverty and joy

I’m tired. Just one more crazy busy week to go!

It’s funny how in the midst of crises or challenges, I feel fine. People ask how I am, but I can keep it together. I can power through. But afterwards, when all is right again, when peace has returned, when people are happy, then it hits me.

And last night it hit me. It was our ELS birthday party. It was a beautiful “glamorous” night. People were having a ball, dancing and eating and laughing and at last after a week of ups and downs everyone, EVERYONE, was happy. Everything was OK. And suddenly I felt very depressed and very lonely and very far from home.

I went to bed like that and woke up like that and spent all Saturday feeling like that. Then tonight in my devotional, I read this poem:

“Joy and deep poverty!” Truly strange blending. 
Fullness and emptiness! Contrasting themes. 
Spiritual richness and temporal leanness! 
None but the Spirit could wed such extremes. 

“Joy and deep poverty!” Servant of Jesus, 
Doth it perplex that thy portion is this? 
Doth it offend that reward for thy faithfulness 
Seemeth to lie much in things thou must miss? 

“Joy and deep poverty!” Pause thee, and ponder! 
Joy for thy spirit – the world cannot give; 
If therewith leanness – extreme limitation – 
Mayhap ‘tis by e’en such need thou shalt LIVE! ~ J. Danson Smith 

Poverty isn’t always about money. Sometimes it’s just about “things thou must miss”. And sometimes it’s in the midst of complete joy that we’re most aware of it. But tonight God reminded me that it is in this strange blending of joy and poverty, fullness and emptiness that we meet Him – the fullness of God in a heartbroken Savior, the completeness of joy in a crucified King.

I guess that doesn’t help much with the tiredness, but it’s nice to know that this place where my tired heart is, in the end, isn’t very far from His.

P.S. I was really tired when I wrote this, so if it doesn't make sense, that's why.
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