The completion of joy
I have blogged about this before, but was thinking anew (thanks to C.S. Lewis) about my role in completing the joy that other people have. I have always understood that there was a role I was to have to help bear the burdens of others and that really listening to their issues and entering into their suffering was key to that process. When someone is happy or joyful there is a role that I need to play as well. Rather than bearing their happiness, which seems kind of nonsensical, I am to complete it.
As soon as my youngest son is done with a Lego creation or the oldest reads something funny in his Calvin and Hobbes book they immediately want to share it with their mother or me. Now I could be cynical and say that their motive for sharing was born out of the desire to be seen as clever or to, albeit briefly, have our undivided attention, but I think that it is so much more than that. Firstly I am thankful that I have the time that I do to devote to examining the creation or hearing the funny bits in a comic book anthology. What a blessing it is to share the life that they have and for my name to be in their brains at all as they live it. They could be thinking of a thousand other people to share their discoveries with, but they choose me, and that is amazing.
Secondly I am thankful that the full extent of their joy and happiness is in no small measure dependent upon me. I wonder how many times they reached out to me in an effort to complete their joy through sharing it with me and I wasn't there? I wonder how much more Christlike they would be if I were available to them during those times that they desired to share? I wonder if I get excited enough over what they are excited about?
And then I wonder if they talk to God about that very thing that He has brought into their life. Does Drew hold up his Lego creation, stare straight through the living room ceiling, and show it to God? Does Will read comics to Him? Does Drew tell His Father jokes that he thinks are just too hysterical to keep to himself? Does Will look at a test grade and talk to God about it even when it goes beyond thanking Him for the ability he has been blessed with to accomplish the task?
I won't always be there for them and I won't always complete their joy even when I am present. But You are aren't You, Dad? You'll be there forever...You will requite their happiness and mine.