We must risk delight

On delight in an uncertain and often brutal world

Don’t miss my latest on Red Letter Christians: “What does it mean to be disembodied?”

I attended a virtual birthday party the other day and the guests were asked to each bring a poem. One has stuck with me ever since because of this line: “We must risk delight.” In an often brutal and uncertain world, daring to delight is an act of divine resistance, and we must take this risk as often as we can. 

How will you risk delight this week? 

A Brief For The Defense

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies

are not starving someplace, they are starving

somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.

But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.

Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not

be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not

be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women

at the fountain are laughing together between

the suffering they have known and the awfulness

in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody

in the village is very sick. There is laughter

every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,

and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.

If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,

we lessen the importance of their deprivation.

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,

but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have

the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless

furnace of this world. To make injustice the only

measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.

If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,

we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.

We must admit there will be music despite everything.

We stand at the prow again of a small ship

anchored late at night in the tiny port

looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront

is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.

To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat

comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth

all the years of sorrow that are to come.


Connect

Social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Read recent articles: Red Letter Christians | Earth & Altar | Medium


Subscribe

Subscribing gives you access to the comment sections, the entire archives, my Advent and Lenten series each year, an exclusive preview of my upcoming book, and as it supports me and my family, it is very much appreciated! But as always, if you cannot afford a monthly subscription, just let me know and I will comp you one because this community is for everyone, no exceptions, no questions asked.


Camino for Good

I’m walking the Camino de Santiago virtually starting March 1st! The signup fees go to help the hostel owners who have been impacted so badly by the pandemic that some may lose their businesses without some help. I hope to one day walk it in person, but this is a fun challenge for a good cause, and the app is rather robust with pictures of the towns you pass and so forth. Join me! Sign up here.


When the mercy that you need might be the mercy you need to give as well as the mercy you need to receive... ⁠

⁠Come take a walk through themes surrounding mercy every Sunday during Lent. This six-week series will take you right up to holy week with a bonus reflection for Easter.⁠

⁠This is available for subscribers only, but everyone who switches to subscriber status will also recieve a free excerpt of my upcoming book, Inward Apocalypse, and a free subscription week so you can sample the first reflection coming this Sunday. A subscription also gives you access to my entire library of posts including the Advent series from 2020. ⁠

As always, if for any reason you can't afford a subscription, just shoot me a message and I will upgrade you. This community is for everyone. But if you can afford it, I appreciate the support for my writing oh so very much!⁠

Get 7 day free trial