Have you ever noticed the power that a word, a painting, music, or nature has to captivate you? That’s just what happened as I came across the word delight and began to think of all its shades of meaning-the unexpected, surprise, joy, love, a smile, goodness, beauty, a spark of light, a bubbling over. Then when I read the Psalmist’s references to “The Lord takes delight in his people” (Ps. 149: 4), “The Lord delights in those who revere Him” (Ps. 147: 11), and even in Isaiah 62:4, “For the Lord delights in you,” I was intrigued, awed, at God’s delighting in us! What a God we have!
Scripture shows us the many times Jesus brought delight into the lives of those He encountered. We see this so well in John’s account of the wedding feast at Cana. Mary notices or is told of the shortage of wine, tells Jesus, and then alerts the waiters. How well she knows her Son, and how wise to anticipate the doubts that would arise in the minds of the waiters. What delight follows, bubbling over into the lives of the immediate family and the waiters as they saw what ensued. Unbelievable, water turned into wine!
[His disciples] saw the unexpected happen (Mt. 14: 17) with just five loaves of bread and two fish. All were fed, and still seven baskets of leftover food were collected. He surprised the crowd. But how much more the widow of Naim (Lk. 11:17) who with a few words from Jesus, saw her son rise up and speak! Jesus’ delight invariably centered on helping those in need.
We too have had experiences of delight in everyday, ordinary events. A long time ago, a little boy of 7, Patrick, who had been ill, came on Saturday to be prepared for his First Holy Communion the next day. His teacher had just about finished when she said, “Patrick, while you are waiting for Jesus, you might like to say a little prayer, maybe, …Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay.” There was a long pause, and then Patrick said,”I don’t think I’ll say that prayer, as I wouldn’t want to rush Jesus if he is busy with someone else.”. . .
At a residence for seniors, a talented pianist was playing all the old songs for those gathered in the large rotunda. Two of the ladies were the center of attention. Coming along the corridor, one of the visitors . . . noticed how animated these ladies were, one in a wheelchair and the other with a walker. With every song played, they could sing every word, keeping time with their feet, in time with the melody. As this visitor looked, clapped, and enjoyed the enthusiasm, it was evident that all-nurses, aides, visitors, residents, cleaners-were caught up in the delight of that moment
If ever we wonder how God wants us to live, a recall of the incidents of delight in the Bible and an awareness of the happenings in life can help us see that more clearly. People we meet on the way, who share and create moments of delight for us, irrespective of age or disabilities, dangerous surroundings, or a schoolroom, all can spread delight by a few inspired words, a letter, a phone call, or by the sharing of memorable music. No wonder Isaiah (65: 18) could say of his God: “For I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight.” How many we know among our own acquaintances who make a good spirit their goal in life.
Anne Marie Kelleher, O.S.U.
Excerpted from her book, And No One Saw Your Footprints, Something More Publications, 2010.
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