Annie Dillard, in her radiant book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, tells of a girl blind from birth who had an operation which restored her sight. When the bandages were removed and she was led into the garden, she saw what she described as “the tree with the lights in it.”
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
In 1974, a decade before joining the L’Arche community in Toronto, Henri Nouwen made a seven-month retreat at a Trappist monastery called The Genesee. He subsequently published his diary for that period, which ended on Christmas Day. Here is his final entry, dated Wednesday, December 25:
The nice thing about ordinary life is that there’s so much of it. It’s all around us, all the time, so if we can actually learn to like it, we’re home free.
We are marvelous creatures, fearfully and wonderfully made. Yet so much of what we do is utterly mundane.
Everyone has an ordinary life. The Pope has an ordinary life. Movie stars and rock stars have ordinary lives. The person you would most like to be has an ordinary life—every bit as ordinary as yours.
On August 7, 2014, Karen and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. I posted a photo of us to Facebook, along with these words:
Q: Can a monk and a missionary find happiness together?
A: AND HOW!!!
Happy 32nd Anniversary to us!
This one post, incidentally, ended up reaching more people and garnering more likes than all my other posts put together.