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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Advent: Joy in Relationship

I was overjoyed when some of the friends arrived and testified to your faithfulness to the truth, namely how you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends, even though they are strangers to you. ~ 3 John 3-5


To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with. ~ Mark Twain




I get it. I'm an introvert, so I get it that being with people isn't always something that everyone wants all the time.


But I also know something about what lack of people in your life can do to you.


I had an uncle for whom joy seemed to pass by. An alcoholic and a hoarder, my uncle lived alone in a small apartment attached to my grandparent's home. He never invited anyone in. He only came out on the nights my grandmother cooked dinner for him.


He didn't go anywhere other than work, and eventually not there either.


When he died of alcohol related health issues, at too young an age, he left behind a home filled with stuff and more stuff... wall to wall stuff.


Just stuff.


My uncle hid from life. He hid from family, from friends, and from the world. His death was profoundly sad not simply because it came too soon, but also because the lack of joy and the life he missed out on was evident in everything he left behind.


Even those of us who are introverts need people. Joy explodes when it is shared from one to another. 


We can experience joy alone, but likely will find it fleeting. Rather like the flame of a candle, the light of joy grows brighter as it is shared from one to another.


Always, always we remember we have a God for whom relationship is the very essence. 


There may be one in your life who shuns the light of joy: for whom solitude has become safety, and for whom relationship is difficult.


Can you find a way to reach out and help them move toward the light?



God of Joy, Lord of Light: bring people into my life willing to share their joy with me. Bring me and my joy into the life of those who need it. Amen.

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