Can You Know the Living God and Be Unhappy?

Yesterday I was thinking about what it might mean for our lives if we genuinely believed in a God who looks and acts like Jesus.

Following up, I just want to take a second to share something I found just now in Philip Yancey‘s coffee table book Grace, which I suppose is a collect of excerpts taken from his What’s So Amazing about Grace?, reformatted to look hip.

Anyway, this:

In church the other Sunday I was intent upon a small child who was turning around smiling at everyone.  He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag.  He was just smiling.  Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theatre off Broadway said, “Stop that grinning!  You’re in church!”  With that, she gave him a belt and as the tears rolled down his cheeks added, “That’s better,” and returned to her prayers. … Suddenly I was angry.  It occurred to me that the entire world is in tears, and if you’re not, then you’d better get with it.  I wanted to grab this child with the tear-stained face close to me and tell him about my God.  The happy God.  The smiling God.  The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us…  By tradition, one wears faith with the solemnity of a mourner, the gravity of a mask of tragedy, and the dedication of a Rotary badge.  What a fool, I thought.  Here was a woman sitting next to the only light left in our civilization – the only hope, our only miracle – our only promise of infinity.  If he couldn’t smile in church, where was there left to go? – Erma Bombeck (41)

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