Wednesday, November 16, 2011

what if.

I've been trying real hard lately to be disciplined and more intentional about spending time alone with God. This is hard for me. I've never been good at it. I get bored, I get distracted, or I drift off deliberating on what it is I have to accomplish during the week, instead of sitting in God's Presence.
This morning, I caught myself wondering again, but in a different way. And I want to address it.

It is my opinion, that too often we Christians spend our time alone with God trying to convince ourselves of something we do not truly believe. And when I say "believe", I am not attacking your foundational conviction that the God of the Bible is real and sent His Son to die for us all. I am addressing the day in, day out, belief that God is who He says He is.

So at 7am this morning, as I watched the rain fall on the tail-end of Autumn, I asked myself, what if? What if God truly is the Pursuer of my soul? What if I actually believed that God is the Wooer of my heart? What if Matthew 10:30 was real to me?...that God cares for me so intimately that He knows how many hairs are on my head? How would that make my life look different?
Would I still have as many worries and concerns or would my burdens be lightened because I would trust what God says about me over what I or my friend say about me? How would my relationships look different? Would I be more patient and loving with people, or would I continue to not live past my nose when my circumstances get hard and life is "unfair"?

Is it that simple? Not easy, but simple? Is that what Jesus meant when He said that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to children (Matt. 19:14)? Because kids just trust? Because kids don't worry about next week or next year. Because kids are only aware of today and they're okay with that. I really believe God is who He says He is.

I think if I did, I'd be strong. I could be a leader. I could handle sadness and not get depressed. I would utilize self-control. I would think of others more. I wouldn't fear being alone for the rest of my life. I'd see Death as a swinging door. Nature would be more beautiful to me. I would be bold. I would be humbled.
Don Miller once stated that Christian Spirituality cannot be explained, it can only be experienced. And I agree. I want my time alone with God to be an experience. I want the God of the Bible to tear up all of my formulas and ravage my heart. I want to preach God to people without using words. I want to show you Love when I am down-trodden and weak of heart.
I want to let God be in my life who He says He is.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

an excerpt from Donald Miller's book "Searching for God Knows What"

I know there are people who have actually gone from misery to happiness, but they didn’t do it by walking through three steps; they did it because they had a certain set of parents and heard a certain song and knew somebody who had a certain experience and saw some movie, read some book, had something happen to them like a car wreck or a trip to Seattle. Then they called on God, and a week later read something in a magazine or met a girl in Wichita, and when all this had happened they had an epiphany, and somebody may have helped them fulfill what this epiphany made them feel, and several years later they rationalized this mystic experience with three steps, then they told the three steps to us in a book. I’m not saying they weren’t trying to be helpful; I bring this up only because life is complex, and the idea that you can break it down or fix it in a few steps is rather silly.
The truth is there are a million steps, and we don’t even know what the steps are, and worse, at any given moment we may not be willing or even able to take them; and still worse, they are different for you and me and they are always changing. I have come to believe the sooner we find this truth beautiful, the sooner we will fall in love with the God who keeps shaking things up, keeps changing the path, keeps rocking the boat to test our faith in Him, teaching us to not rely on easy answers, bullet points, magic mantras, or genies in lamps, but rather rely on His guidance, His existence, His mercy, and His love.
Personally, I was miserable before I understood these ideas, but now I am so happy I laugh all the time, even in my sleep.
This passage was excerpted from Searching For God Knows What.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reconciling Revenge

today i thought i'd share a post on revenge by Jordan Green.

I would generally consider myself a pacifist. I say “generally”, because I don’t really know how I’d react in a given situation. If, for instance, a crazed hobo woman attacked my daughter, I’m fairly certain I would resort to physical violence in order to get her to stop. So maybe I’m a pacifist when it comes to larger communities, like nation-states and youth groups. Because of my semi-pacifist philosophy, I’ve always had one major hang-up with narrative morality, an idea this blog’s esteemed owner discusses in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. That hang-up is this: when played out in story, revenge is sort of awesome.
For instance, I’m reading through George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series right now, and there are plenty of characters in this epic, sprawling fantasy series who I want to pay. And I don’t want them merely brought to justice in a court of law and imprisoned for life. They are evil people, and I want them to die the most painful deaths possible. Most of them do end up dying horrific deaths, simply because (SPOILER ALERT) a lot of people die in these books.(END SPOILER ALERT)
Of course, the characters in Martin’s novels aren’t real, but real life has its share of bad guys. The latter half of the 20th century seemed to mark a turn away from Old Testament-style justice. Adolph Hitler: committed suicide to avoid capture by the Red Army. Joseph Stalin: died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 74. Pol Pot: died at home of a heart attack. Slobodan Milosevic: heart attack while under trial for war crimes. Saddam Hussein: hanged after being convicted for crimes against humanity. The point is, the deaths of some of the 20th century’s worst people were decidedly unlike that of your average Bond villain.
Then, in the last six months, Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi died extremely violent deaths. The former, of course, was shot in the head during a raid by US forces. The latter was captured in a hole, beaten viciously, and, according to some reports, took around 30 minutes to die after being shot in the head and chest.
Now, I know I am supposed to love my enemies, to pray for them and even bless them. I know this because it is discussed pointedly in Romans, Luke, 1 Peter and 1 John. But what’s curious to me is how these deaths feel to me from a purely narrative standpoint. And, if I’m honest, the deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi feel somewhat…well…right. As much as I tell myself the death of a human being should never be celebrated, I do at least feel some satisfaction knowing these men are gone. Gaddafi was a madman who ruled with an iron hand, who lived in unchecked opulence while his people suffered. Osama Bin Laden was Osama Bin Laden. One of the key components of Protestant Christianity is the belief we do not get what we deserve, that through following Christ all sin is absolved, but there is still a very real part of us that wants to see certain people get what’s coming to them, from cruel despots to schoolyard bullies. If narrative morality is ingrained in us by our creator — and I think for the most part it is — why is vengeance so undeniably gratifying?
The easiest answer is to say we want justice, and that’s partly true. We yearn for God to put the world right. But there’s more to it than that. One of my favorite stories takes place in Corrie Ten Boom’s book Tramp for the Lord. Ms. Ten Boom is lecturing in Germany when she is approached by a man whom she quickly recognizes as a particularly brutal Ravensbruck guard. Before he can speak, she forgives him:
“For a long moment, we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.”
What we truly want is for villains to repent. Ideally, we want a villain to understand what he did was wrong, and redeem his horrible actions. When that doesn’t suffice, we want him to realize he was not as powerful as he thought. This is why, when a villain dies in a story, we are shown his reaction one last time as he plummets to his death or realizes a bomb is about to explode. We want to see him recognize he is a broken man.
The question from there is whether we want our villains forgiven, and I suspect that’s a matter of perspective. Did anyone really want Die Hard to end with John McClane forgiving Hans Gruber, grasping hands, and experiencing God’s love? Doubtful, but this is partly because Hans Gruber is not a real human. He’s an avatar for evil. Real people are a lot messier, with compounding factors like traumatic childhood experiences and mental illness.
Like all sin, we each have our limits. The tools God gives us to push those limits — empathy and a willingness to cede control of our lives — are crucial in determining our reactions. If I had known Muammar Gaddafi, or Osama Bin Laden, I wonder if that glimmer of satisfaction I felt would’ve been diminished completely, and a story read as justice served would more closely resemble a tragedy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

are you a Christian single, or a single Christian.

Singles Fellowship

Singled Out by God for Good
by Paige Benton Brown

Had I any vague premonition of my present plight when I was six, I would have demanded that Stephen Herbison (incontestably the catch of the second grade) put his marriage proposal into writing and have it notarized. I do want this piece to be practical, so to all you first-graders: CARPE DIEM.

Over the past several years I have perfected the artistry of escape regarding any singles functions—cookouts, conferences, Sunday school classes, and my personal favorite, putt-putt. My avoidance mechanism is triggered not so much by a lack of patience with such activities as it is by a lack of stomach for the pervasive attitudes. Thoreau insists that most men lead lives of quiet desperation; I insist that many singles lead lives of loud aggravation. Being immersed in singles can be like finding yourself in the midst of "The Whiners" of 1980's Saturday Night Live—it gives a whole new meaning to "pity party."

Much has been written in Christian circles about singleness. The objective is usually either to chide the married population for their misunderstanding and segregationism or to empathize with the unmarried population as they bear the cross of “Plan B” for the Christian life, bolstered only by the consolation prizes of innumerable sermons on I Corinthians 7 and the fact that you can cut your toenails in bed. Yet singles, like all believers, need scriptural critique and instruction seasoned by sober grace, not condolences and putt-putt accompanied with pious platitudes.

John Calvin’s secret to sanctification is the interaction of the knowledge of God and knowledge of self. Singles, like all other sinners, typically dismiss the first element of the formula, and therein lies the root of all identity crises. It is not that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but that life has no tragedy like our God ignored. Every problem is a theological problem, and the habitual discontent of us singles is no exception.

Can God be any less good to me on the average Tuesday morning than he was on that monumental Friday afternoon when he hung on a cross in my place? The answer is a resounding NO. God will not be less good to me tomorrow either, because God cannot be less good to me. His goodness is not the effect of his disposition but the essence of his person—not an attitude but an attribute.

I long to be married. My younger sister got married two months ago. She now has an adoring husband, a beautiful home, a whirlpool bathtub, and all-new Corningware. Is God being any less good to me than he is to her? The answer is a resounding NO. God will not be less good to me because God cannot be less good to me. It is a cosmic impossibility for God to shortchange any of his children. God can no more live in me apart from the perfect fullness of his goodness and grace than I can live in Nashville and not be white. If he fluctuated one quark in his goodness, he would cease to be God.

Warped theology is at the heart of attempts to "explain" singleness:
  • "As soon as you’re satisfied with God alone, he’ll bring someone special into your life”—as though God’s blessings are ever earned by our contentment.
  • "You’re too picky”—as though God is frustrated by our fickle whims and needs broader parameters in which to work.
  • "As a single you can commit yourself wholeheartedly to the Lord’s work”—as though God requires emotional martyrs to do his work, of which marriage must be no part.
  • "Before you can marry someone wonderful, the Lord has to make you someone wonderful"—as though God grants marriage as a second blessing to the satisfactorily sanctified.
Accepting singleness, whether temporary or permanent, does not hinge on speculation about answers God has not given to our list of whys, but rather on celebration of the life he has given. I am not single because I am too spiritually unstable to possibly deserve a husband, nor because I am too spiritually mature to possibly need one. I am single because God is so abundantly good to me, because this is his best for me. It is a cosmic impossibility that anything could be better for me right now than being single, The psalmists confirm that I should not want, I shall not want, because no good thing will God withhold from me.

Such knowledge of God must transform subsequent knowledge of self-theological readjustment is always the catalyst for renewed self-awareness. This keeps identity right-side-up with nouns and modifiers in their correct place. Am I a Christian single or am I a single Christian? The discrepancy in grammatical construction may be somewhat subtle, but the difference in mindset is profound. Which word is determinative and which is descriptive? You see, we singles are chronic amnesiacs—we forget who we are, we forget whose we are. I am a single Christian. My identity is not found in my marital status but in my redemptive status. I 'm one of the "haves," not one of the "have-nots."

Have you ever wondered at what age one is officially single? Perhaps a sliding scale is in order: 38 for a Wall Street tycoon; 21 for a Mississippi sorority girl; 14 for a Zulu princess; and five years older than I am for me. It is a relevant question because at some point we see ourselves as “single,” and that point is a place of greater danger than despair. Singleness can be a mere euphemism for self-absorption—now is the "you time." No wife to support? No husband to pamper? Well, then, by all means join three different golf courses, get a weekly pedicure, raise emus, subscribe to People.

Singleness is never carte blanche for selfishness. A spouse is not a sufficient countermeasure for self. The gospel is the only antidote for egocentricity. Christ did not come simply to save us from our sins, he came to save us from our selves. And he most often rescues us from us through relationships, all kinds of relationships.

"Are you seeing anyone special?" a young matron in my home church asked patronizingly. "Sure," I smiled. "I see you and you’re special."

OK, my sentiment was a little less than kind, but the message is true.
To be single is not to be alone. If someone asks if you are in a relationship right now, your immediate response should be that you are in dozens. Our range of relational options is not limited to getting married or to living in the sound-proof, isolated booth of Miss America pageants. Christian growth mandates relational richness.

The only time folks talk about human covenants is in premarital counseling. How anemic. If our God is a covenantal God, then all of our relationships are covenantal. The gospel is not about how much I love God (I typically love him very little); it is about how much God loves me. My relationships are not about how much friends should love me, they are about how much I get to love them. No single should ever expect relational impoverishment by virtue of being single. We should covenant to love people— to initiate, to serve, to commit.
Many of my Vanderbilt girls have been reading Lady in Waiting, a popular book for Christian women struggling with singleness. That’s all fine and dandy, but what about a subtitle: And Meanwhile, Lady, Get Working. It is a cosmic impossibility for God to require less of me in my relationships than he does of the mother of four whose office is next door. Obedience knows no ages or stages.

Let’s face it: singleness is not an inherently inferior state of affairs. If it were, heaven would be inferior to this world for the majority of Christians (Mom is reconciled to being unmarried in glory as long as she can be Daddy’s roommate). But I want to be married. I pray to that end every day. I may meet someone and walk down the aisle in the next couple of years because God is so good to me. I may never have another date and die an old maid at 93 because God is so good to me. Not my will but his be done. Until then I am claiming as my theme verse, “If any man would come after me, let him. . . "

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Ghost of the Cepheus Flare
Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona
Explanation: Spooky shapes seem to haunt this starry expanse, drifting through the night in the royal constellation Cepheus. Of course, the shapes are cosmic dust clouds faintly visible in dimly reflected starlight. Far from your own neighborhood on planet Earth, they lurk at the edge of the Cepheus Flare molecular cloud complex some 1,200 light-years away. Over 2 light-years across the ghostly nebula and relatively isolated Bok globule, also known as vdB 141 or Sh2-136, is near the center of the field. The core of the dark cloud on the right is collapsing and is likely a binary star system in the early stages of formation. Even so, if the spooky shapes could talk, they might well wish you a happy Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2011

God knows me, but do i know Him.

i feel as if i have never known the Lord.

that is a big statement to make. let me explain.
you know those times when you realize how small you are? you might live your life where you are always # 1. your mistakes and problems make you feel like the world is going to end right in front of your face. and you fall to your knees in confusion and in desperation for something better. something bigger.
well that has been my life over the past 8 months. and i find myself without a career, living in my parents basement, wondering what the hell could happen next. i'm sure we have all come to this standstill in life, though the circumstances may look different.

i've come to realize that God has never been enough for me. i've short-changed who i think He is and what i believe He thinks of me. i can sit here and tell you that i'm a sweet caring follower of Christ who trusts in the Lord beyond measure and who has faith that could move mountains, but that is not true.

i'm in pain. and i struggle. there are days when i'm confident in God's grace for me and there are days when i feel like i'm swimming emotionally/spiritually through mud.
i have never really known God because i never really needed Him.
until now.

i read about the treacherous trials of Job, i immerse myself into the sweeping pain and prosperity of David, author of the Pslams, and amongst many emotions, i am thankful.
i am thankful that men and women have been honest. that followers of Christ long ago understood that sharing your struggle in your faith is just as important as sharing your strength.
and i am better for it. i read about Joseph, Moses, and Paul who have faced far more devastating circumstances than i, and i am encouraged. somehow, despite my pain and confusion, there is something bigger. and this something bigger looks at me and says, you are beautiful. He says, with you, i am well pleased.

may we all be a people of honesty, of hope, and of love. for God looks at us and says, you are worth it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the Lord is my shepherd, i lack nothing. 
                                                     -psalm 23:1

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sit here.

Are we devotees to a cause or disciples of the Lord? He said to the disciples, "Sit here." If they had been like some of us they would have said, "No, it is absurd. We must go and do something."
The more we get into the atmosphere of the New Testament the more we discover the unfathomable and unhasting leisure of our Lord's life, no matter what His agony. The difficulty is that when we do what God wants us to do, our friends say, "It is all well, but suppose we all did that?" Our Lord did not tell all the disciples to sit there while He prayed; He told only three of them. The point is that we must take as from God the haphazard arrangement of our lives. If we accept the Lord Jesus Christ and the domination of His lordship, we also accept that nothing happens by chance, because we know that God orders and engineers circumstances; the fuss has gone, the amateur providence has gone, the amateur disposer has gone, and we know that "all things work together for good to those who love God." If Jesus says, "Sit here, while I go pray over there," the only appropriate thing we can do is to sit there."  

- If You Will Ask

Monday, October 17, 2011

This morning I am waking up with Psalm 34 on my lips and in my heart.
How hard it is to grieve a feel horrifying fall asleep with a "future" and wake up to a blank canvas. It is scary and it is hard.
But I awake this morning with praises to our Lord on my lips. How blessed am I that He would bring such evil darkness into light.
I'm a mess. I really hurt. But the Lord shall be praised in this house.

Friday, October 14, 2011

a devotion my friend sent me this morning.

October 14, 2011
Be prepared to suffer for me, in my Name. All suffering has meaning in My kingdom. Pain and problems are opportunities to demonstrate your trust in Me. Bearing your circumstances bravely- even thanking me for them- is one of the highest forms of praise. This sacrifice of thanksgiving rings golden-toned blessings of joy thought-out heavenly realms. On earth also, your patient suffering sends out ripples of good tidings in ever-widening circles.
When suffering strikes, remember that I am sovereign and that I can bring good out of everything. Do not try to run from pain or hide form problems. Instead, accept adversity in My Name, offering it up to Me for My purposes. Thus, your suffering gains meaning and draws you closer to Me. Joy emerges from the ashes of adversity though your trust and thankfulness.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Psalm 107:21-22
Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Let them sacrifice thank offerings
and tell of his works with songs of joy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

i won't rot.

And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won't rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That's why I hold,
That's why I hold with all I have.
That's why I hold.

I will die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I'll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I'm scared of what's behind and what's before.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

my dad died. my boyfriend cheated.

This year has been the worst year of my life. I am officially giving 2011 the middle finger.
The few people who read this blog know that my dad died in a car accident on Valentine's Day this year. Well... as of 11 days ago, I found out that the man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, was unfaithful to me. Had been our entire relationship with several women.
I had no clue.

So... I've been weeping. A lot. I've been angry. Confused. And thought I couldn't take anymore. I've cried so
deeply this week that I felt as if my middle core was paper thin and I would fold over and die. Sadness has been my friend.

However I'm still alive today... popping zits in the morning and thinking/worrying about my ever so unpredictable future. Sometimes you just keep going because you know you're not going to kill yourself and the sun will always rise. This has been my reality.

And yet, I am changed. God is bigger and mysterious and I am changed.
This past week, I've been walking the streets of Portland and resting by the Puget Sound here in Washington, pondering over my pain. And something started making sense that never had before. I realized that I had a mold. I had a mental blueprint outlined of what I wanted or thought I needed in my life and it hadn't played out. It had frustrated me and it was disappointing me. Hoping to create my own version of "happily-ever-after", I had become critical and controlling. I couldn't live like this anymore. God hadn't wanted me to and had striped me of everything to show me that. The mold hadn't worked because it was mine and not God's.

Next week I'm making the big truck across country again to join the benevolence and open arms of the South, and I'm going back changed. I am learning that there is a freedom in Christ's love that I have been rejecting for a while now. Too often we find ourselves accepting the great things in life from God and deflecting the bad ...thinking that they couldn't possibly be a part of God's plan for us. Well that's just plain wrong. The beauty in taking your mess to Christ and being
confident that He's got your back, forever, liberates and allows you to prosper. It doesn't mean you're not scared and it doesn't mean you're not worried from time to time. What it does mean is that you don't have to have it all together and that's okay.

So here I go into the Holidays learning to let go and joyfully allow my story to be written by Someone Else. May His love flow into my pain and make me whole again.

Wahclella Falls. Portland.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Awake, my soul.

I love this song. Challenging, forgiving, flawed, questioning, hopeful, - the entire gamut of the human experience in our quest to walk with God.

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
This weakness I feel I must finally show

Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life

Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
You were made to meet your Maker
Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
You were made to meet your Maker
You were made to meet your Maker

Monday, September 12, 2011

good thoughts by donald miller

All great spirituality is subversive, including the spirituality of following Jesus. Jesus was poor because the truth is there is more to life than money, and money is only a tool. Jesus did not cower to the power of religious authority, because the religious authority was corrupt and misrepresented God. Jesus did not take a wife or even a girlfriend because there is more to life than romance and sex. Jesus did not associate his identity with a specific fashion because clothes themselves cover the truth.

So when we follow Christ, everything about us becomes subversive. We have the audacity to stand in the middle of the world and weep over the false idols of culture, the power, the money, the sex, the fashion. And we do the same within the church. We say to the religious that their rules will not redeem them, to the performers of ritual that their actions have no power. We say to the angry theologian that Jesus is not an idea, and to the fundamentalist that he is too cowardly to accept or give grace.

Jesus is even subversive about the harsh reality of death, standing in the face of it and proving it powerless. Everything we worship, He dismisses, and everything we fear He faces. He is God.

All the false idols of our culture are reversed in Christ, and we can find comfort in this. Why? Because look at the pain in your life. Look at the hardship. How much of the pain has been caused by sacrificing to idols that have no power to help you, no power to heal you, no power to redeem you? Christ wants us to return to Him and find a true God, hanging on a cross where before we worshiped at the feet of flannel shirts stuffed with straw.

Don Miller's blog

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

thinking of my dad tonight.

It's been 6 months since my dad died. Today was one of those hard days. A close friend gave me a book tonight that I started reading. It has a poem in the beginning written by a man named Khalil Gibran. He wrote it in 1883.

Joy and Sorrow

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."
And he answered:
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.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
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.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Khalil Gibran

Into the Woods Vogue US September 2009

Natalia Vodianova