There is a German word for it, of course; I wrote about it once. But let’s use the word joy to express it for now.
It is also expressed in an idea I heard stated once: future glory (gratitude?) is what I remember hearing. The sentiment of it I clearly remember, if not the phrasing of it. It is seeing and knowing and hoping and resting in a future thing, while also having it firmly at hand. In sight, but not grasped so to speak. At hand, but not in hand.
I received a phone call today from work and the voice said, “Uh, Timothy, uh . . . you are . . . you, uh what are you going to do? You are supposed to call, is that right?”
“Right, I am going to call when I am done. I should be done in around 40 minutes.”
“Oh, (with a tone of surprise at so early), okay, can you look up J**** on 65? Just call when you are done and I can tell you where he is. I appreciate it.”
“Glad to do it. Okay, I will call.”
Well, I knew where J**** would be when I called to check in because 65 is one of my old routes, a route that I named Joy.
And immediately on the radio came Jesu, the Joy of Man’s Desiring.
I finished my route, but took Shade with me anyway, and headed across town to get within three minutes of where I thought the carrier on 65 would be. I called him to get his location and when he told me, well, I exclaimed that German word into the night air. He said to meet him on Plum Drive and it could not have been any better a place on this night to meet someone who needed my help.
Bach may have been thinking of this when he put heaven’s music on paper: The truth of Jesu is shared joy. Joy in him is both the object of our desire and it is his joy to give us what we desire. In this way it is a lving hope, constantly in our possession, yet looking ahead and beyond to more.
Sky silh-ou-ettes two trees throwing them in Light’s relief;
their branches bow on bended knees. Above the sky (no wanton thief):
King of sweet benevolence, who gives to each as precious gift.
No forces of malevolence can part their roots in timeless rift . . .