I came across this image yesterday of the place you and I live in this vast universe.  It was taken from above the moon last October.  I find it inexpressibly joyful. So I leave that to you.

I can so easily get caught up in the sufferings of my life and melancholy. The sufferings I see all around me and my own sometimes are overwhelming. — I just said that — ,oops.

Anyway all the people I have met in my life have incredibly bitter sweet story’s to tell.  But so often I get lost in my own that I don’t see them.  When I do, my emotions run wild. I want to grab the latest banner and cry foul ball.  But that rarely works.

When it is happening to me I want to run away or shoot the sucker who is giving me so much grief and pain.  The hurt becomes unbearable at times.  lately that tune has played a lot.  So how do I deal with it?

When I focus on all of my sufferings – they only get worse and I fall deeper and deeper in to that dark place.  When I ask “why?” I only get more confused, more angry and sad.  Helplessness and Hopelessness start screaming at me.  It can become and endless cycle.

The continual voices that cry out get louder and louder. The answers endless with little or not truth in them.  So what do I end up with?  Just look at the six 0’clock news.  Not the way I want to live.  So I don’t — most of the time.

When we meet in a crowd I am usually ornery ( so my wife tells me).  Sometimes crass Sometimes foolish, Sometimes rude, Sometimes inappropriate, sometimes funny and most  always silly.

As a Christian I can give you lots of Scripture and pat you on the back or condemn you. Historically I have done that a lot. But where is the love in that?  And what is all the suffering really all about?

There came a day when I heard –  “He learned obedience by what He suffered.”  Not an easy thing to hear.  Why would anyone be willing to suffer like that?  Not only that, but a suffering I never want to experience.  Would you be willing to let the very man you came for to drive a nail in your hands and feet?

When our Father raised Him up from all of the suffering and death He endured – the answer becomes obvious. Life is more than death, and beyond it.  Kind of like the image above.  This man Jesus said to our Father, “I will go.”

He came and being made like you and me showed us the way to be reconciled to our Father.  I have to learn obedience by what I too suffer. I heard another another man say, “He filled up in his body the suffering of Christ.”  He found “joy in afflictions.”

Many years ago I told our Father I too wanted to find “Joy in affliction.”  Be careful what you ask for.  My trail of suffering and tears has been , very, very long.  But not without fruit.

I now know my sufferings are often times really His sufferings.  If in my sufferings you come to know our Father and His love,  If you have realized and embraced Him — you know His Joy.  Freedom!!

So now you know what my photos are for.  To get you to pause for a bit and remember our Father and our Savior Jesus.  My behavior in a crowd is just another way for me to lift you up.  It is but “a poor reflection” of that inexpressible Joy.

A friend of our recently asked my wife if I was like this at home?  My wife’s reply was no, only in a crowd.   He is quiet with the TV off.