SORROW was beautiful, but her beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the wood, and making little pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss below. When SORROW san, her notes were like the low, sweet call of the nightingale, and in her eyes was the unexpectant gaze of one who has ceased to look for coming gladness. She could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to her.
JOY was beautiful too, but is was the radiant beauty of the summer morning. His eyes still held the glad laughter of childhood, and his hair had the glint of the sunshine’s kiss. When JOY sang, his voice soared upward as the lark’s, and his step was the step of the conqueror who has never known defeat. He could rejoice with all who rejoice, but to weep with those who weep was unknown to him. “We can never be united,” said Sorrow wistfully.” “No, never.” And Joy’s eyes shadowed as he spoke. “My path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom for my gathering.”
“My path,” said Sorrow, turning slowly away,” leads through the darkening woods, yet the sweetest of all earth-songs ——- the love song of the night —— shall be mine ; farewell, Joy, farewell.” Even as she spoke, they became conscious of a form standing beside them; dimly seen, but of a Kingly Presence, and a great and holy awe stole over them as they sank on their knees before Him.
“I see Him as the King of Joy,” whispered Sorrow, “for on His head are many crowns, and the nail-prints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great victory .” “Nay, Sorrow,” said Joy softly, “but I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nail-prints in His hands and feet are the scars of a great agony.” ” Then we are ONE in Him,” they cried in gladness,” for none but He could unite JOY & SORROW. Hand in hand they passed out into the world to follow Him through storm and sunshine, in the bleakness of winter cold and the warmth of summer gladness, “as sorrowful and always rejoicing.”
Should Sorrow lay her hand upon thy shoulder
And walk with thee in silence on life’s way
While, Joy, thy bright companion once, grown colder
Becomes to thee more distant day by day
Shrink not from the companionship of Sorrow
She is the messenger of God to thee
And thou wilt thank Him in His great tomorrow
For what thou knowest not now, thou then shalt see
She is God’s angel, clad in weeds of night
With ‘whom we walk by faith and not by sight’ “