I served in my four year old's class at Classical Conversations the other day. As I was helping the little ones find their seats, stay in their seats, tie their shoes, get their snacks, wash their hands, get back to their seats, stay in their seats, hold their markers, etc., I found myself truly enjoying the little people. They were beautiful to me and everything they did was charming, if not out right hysterical. At times, my laughter over their antics was so loud that it made them turn their heads and look at me with confusion, so then I had to try and temper my laughter and just smile and chuckle over them to msyelf.
This isn't how I usually feel when I help the four year olds, to be honest. So I knew that the Holy Spirit was filling me. I sensed that God was trying to teach me something significant. So as I was helping the kids, I was also having a conversation with God in my head.
"Is this how it felt...? This is how it felt for the creator to be among those He created."
As soon as I had asked the question, it was as if the Holy Spirit answered it.
"Is this God's joy?" I wondered.
"God's mirth." The Spirit said.
That word reminded me of something... What was it?
The last page of G.K. Chesteron's book Orthodoxy!
He said something about the mirth of God... What was it?
I didn't remember what the book said, but as soon as I got home, I felt compelled to look it up and see if the passage had anything to do with what was going on that day.
Here's the passage.
"Joy... is the gigantic secret
of the Christian... The tremendous figure which fills the
Gospels (Jesus) towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the
thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural,
almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing
their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His
open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city.
Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists
are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He
flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how
they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained
something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering
personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something
that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was
something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous
isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show
us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it
was His mirth."
The passage fit perfectly! I think God was teaching me that Jesus, indeed, felt such great joy to be with us that He had to conceal it most of the time. He was a Creator who got to live among his created ones. I can imagine what it might be like to write a story and then find myself in the book. What a delightful experience that must have been for Him, not because we are so delightful, but because of His great love for us. Just like I had to conceal my laughter so that the kids could focus on their work, I bet Jesus had to contain His great joy most of the time so He and His disciples could do the things they were supposed to do. Filled up with love for the children, it was the most natural thing for me to put my hand on their head as I stood over them in line or at their table and wish them well from my heart. That's probably why it was so easy and natural for Jesus to constantly reach out and
bless, reach out and bless, and reach out and bless people like He did. And that could be why they were constantly accusing Him of being a drunkard and a glutton. Because when the work was done and Jesus had appropriate opportunities to relish in his own mirth, I imagine He had a great time. I would have loved to have been at those parties!