The Promise of Joy

“We are all the walking wounded in a world that is a war zone. Everything we love will be taken from us, everything, last of all life itself. Yet everywhere I look, I find great beauty in this battlefield, and grace and the promise of joy.”
– Dean Koontz

I really feel the first part of this quote right now. I feel it deep down in the core of my bones and my despairing heart. I wonder when the war of this world will stop. I wonder how long it will take for us to wake up and notice the horror we inflict on ourselves and others, through our selfishness, our close-mindedness, our lack of acceptance. I wonder if there will be a day when it will be okay to express disagreement again, without being labeled a racist, a communist, a bigot, a fool. I wonder if we will ever see that the only answer to all of these things we argue about and point our fingers at is Love.

I pray it won’t be long.

And, I really feel the second part of this quote right now. I feel it when a bunny rabbit hops in front of me as I take my evening walk; or the blue jays shine so brightly against a background of green leaves turning to shades of orange and brown. I feel it when I see two people walking hand-in-hand, or when I receive a Snapchat from my niece, who has stepped out into the unknown to study abroad this semester. I feel it when I hear my husband’s laugh break through and move beyond the worries of his day. I feel it when I see someone helping someone else – to change a flat tire on the side of the road, to move furniture into a new house, to escape the danger of a mass shooting. I feel it when I remember all those who have helped me to escape.

And, when I sit quietly with God before dawn, I ask Him to help us. Help us to move from the war to the beauty. Help us to move from this world to His promise of joy. Help us to Love. Because I know one thing for sure – without Him, the war will continue, and only get worse. But, with Him, the beauty and grace and promise of joy will be more than any of us could have imagined.

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