C. was our gift of joy out of pain. I was pregnant with him a mere six weeks after the still birth of his sister. My heart was so numbed by the pain of her loss that it would be many months before I fully understood that he was actually on his way to us.
On the day of his birth, I took one look at his shining eyes and flushed red cheeks and the joy burbled up out of me. The mere presence of this child made me laugh, not because he was comic, but because the happiness of him just spilled over onto me. I knew in that moment what had happened. God had taken happiness, wrapped it in skin, and the midwife had laid him in my arms. Joy took a holiday and decided to spend it as my son.
At five years old and running through my house, he is still the same happiness walking around. There is a pure delight in his very being. He crows with laughter, lives with merriment, and dances his way through life to an enchantment the rest of us have forgotten how to hear. He is a bright spot of glee in a world of gloomy cynicism.
The world looks askance at him. As he giggles and dances his way through the world, the world looks back and sneers. “What is wrong with him?” They ask me. “Is he special needs?” “Oh, my nephew has [blank] and is the happiest little guy. Does your son have it, too?” He does not. He is an absolutely normal boy who has not forgotten how to smile, which makes him not so normal at all, it would seem.
It often makes me wonder about the world in which we live. What does it say about us when the only people who exude pure joy are in some way mentally impaired? We are living in a time where joy is immediately suspected to be a symptom, not of a happy life, but of a mental disorder. Five year olds who are cynical and sarcastic are considered to be precocious and gifted, but one who sings and crows with laughter is an oddity and more probably damaged.
Have we reached a point in our culture where true happiness is a mental disease? Are we a people more comfortable with gloom and woe than we are with light and love?
I suppose that as our culture tends to move towards being a anti-Christian one, we should not be surprised. When a populace has rejected true Love, how can they ever be comfortable with the happiness which flows from Him?
Perhaps this is where our evangelization should begin. We need to throw off the trappings of our age, the contemptuous, the derisive, and sardonic. We need to remind ourselves that we are a people of joy! That God has not called us to stern sobriety, but to dance, laugh, and sing to the song of His Creation.
This is where we begin, and how we reach a generation so determined to be lost. They have fallen in love with the color gray. We need to throw of the gloom of that and remember that we all were created to be happiness just walking around.