LET ME HEAR JOY AND GLADNESS; LET THE BONES THAT YOU HAVE BROKEN REJOICE.
My emotions flare at the extremes – deep grief, blazing anger on one end and marketing levels of excitement on the other. The middle stuff, day to day, I’m mostly neutral. I am not an emotion expert and truth is, feeling the feelings make me vulnerable and uncomfortable.
That being said, I do know something about the pain of feeling separated from God – and the longing to be restored. Deep inside my chest my heart is broken. The ache echoes and amplifies in the hollow space that was once filled with joy.
Now here’s the thing. It’s not like I was so aware of this giggly happy feeling one might call joy. It’s not that. In fact I call it “joy” because when you read this psalm it is what David says is missing ever since his sin against God. He wants it back. When it’s me, so do I.
I know nothing can separate me from God literally, but I also know there is a grieving over sin that feels like separation and brokenness. This is something the Holy Spirit uses to awaken in me the knowledge of my sin. It is the triangle of my conscience jabbing my heart just like the Rev. Cochran said would happen when I was 12 and learning the catechism. It’s a warning I have wandered away.
Confessing the sin that has brought me to this place often requires time and usually tears. Broken bones hurt. You have to be in the doctor’s office long enough to set them right. X-rays are important so you learn just what you’ve done and maybe what you haven’t done. Through the process grace and mercy form a cast of restoration. Relief comes – flooding the hollowness with the settled sensation of being wholly known and completely loved.
This is what David and I knew we could not live without – joy.