Joyful Leaving, Peaceful Return

For you shall go out in joy, and return in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. [Isaiah 55, NRSV]

This morning, I’m sitting at Kiskadee Coffee, gazing out on the cars lining a rain soaked sidewalk. The wind is blowing the limbs and leaves of the two trees across the street. A jogger just zipped by Preferred Properties, headed toward Water Street; a local guy with a Red Sox cap brought a coffee to his friend just outside my window. With people going about their work day, it’s just an average Thursday morning in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Isn’t it?

As I read Isaiah’s words, I wonder how many of the people I can see left their homes with a sense of joy this morning. How many will return home in peace – or find peace when they enter their own doors? My mother used to say that children could handle pretty much any of the world’s challenges if their home was stable and loving. It didn’t have to be perfect, but it had to be a place where everyone felt welcomed and accepted as is.

Perhaps that’s what Isaiah is getting at: the fruition of God’s creation is a cosmic home where everyone belongs. To be at home in the world, no matter where in the world you are, is heavenly. You can leave every morning, finding joy in the day’s adventures; you can return every evening to a peace that refreshes the body, mind, and spirit. It doesn’t have to be perfect or easy – and it won’t be in this lifetime – to be holy.

On a day like today, rainy and windblown, I can almost hear the hills at my back singing for joy, and see in the movements of the still-leafed branches the trees applauding…

[For more on this series, click Isaiah 55 above]


2 thoughts on “Joyful Leaving, Peaceful Return

  1. I just love Isaiah’s flowing poetic words.
    From your words Johnna I can picture the people you were observing. I enjoy noticing the people I see too while I drive my route into and through town. Quite often the same few people in the various spots of Sandwich Street or Warren Avenue. Mostly they appear content with their routine walking and I too hope that they are able to go home to a happy and peaceful place.

    1. It’s amazing how many people we don’t know become a part of our daily lives because we see them through a car window, working at a drive-through, or walking down the street at the same time every day. I hope they find joy and peace as well. Thanks, Robin! peace, Johnna

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