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Ruth Pyke’s April Diary article March 23, 2016

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
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One Sunday evening recently I watched a film that I had been loaned. ‘Inside Out’, a Disney Pixar® film, focused on emotions such as Joy and Sorrow, Fear and Anger personified. It was a great film, telling the story of a child who moves house from rural Minnesota to urban San Francisco and the way in which she comes to terms with the trauma of leaving her first home, her school and her friends. Joy and Sorrow, Fear and Disgust and red bullish Anger all inhabit her mind.

Without spoiling the story, there is an ongoing power struggle between Joy and Sorrow. What is interesting is the way in which these emotions eventually work together so that the 12-year-old Riley can come to terms with her new situation, make new relationships, discover new friends and continue to grow and develop.

From our earliest days and as we grow older, joy and sorrow inhabit our hearts and heads as we build up memories of love and loss, of birth and death, of hope and disappointment. The days of Holy Week and Easter, and the forty days after Easter follow these same emotions. Those who followed Jesus moved from fear and despair to joy and amazement as they met him after the resurrection. Love proved all the stronger because of the loss they had suffered at his death. And just as they had begun to expect to see him in a new and different way, he disappeared from their earthly sight for ever as he ascended to his Father.

These accounts of Jesus’ last day are mysterious and some find them impossible to accept, but in our lives we recognise these same emotions of joy and sorrow, disgust and fear and anger. They feature in the Disney film, they are true of each of us and were true of those first followers of Jesus.

The poet William Blake wrote these lines:

‘Man was made for Joy and Woe
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and Woe are woven fine
A clothing for the soul divine.                                     Auguries of Innocence

The days after Easter are days of joy, more so because they follow days of sorrow. May each of you find joy and hope as Spring breaks through after the cold days of winter.