About 15 years ago, my husband and I attended a party celebrating the anniversary of one of our relatives. It was a joyous occasion for a person who has been fulfilling her vocation with great devotion and passion, and most often with a smile on her face. At the end of our time together and as we were exchanging hugs and “so longs,” she said to us, “thank you for coming, for being part of this occasion. Did you get your gift?” We had not, but almost as soon as our faces shifted to what must have been quizzical expressions, she was off to get the gift, and before we knew it, we had it. The gift, a framed saying – “Joy shared is joy multiplied” – so appropriate for the person who gave it and the occasion on which it was given.
Over the past week, this saying and different variations of it have come to mind so frequently, across a number of settings. As I have stayed with it, I am reminded how through the years, in sharing, most definitely, joy has been multiplied, grief has been made bearable, and faith has been strengthened. As I look around, it seems we have everything we need…we have each other.
When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.