We express ourselves in many different ways. A smile, a frown, an open hand, or a fist bump, all might be considered a form of expressing body language. You know, a thought, or an idea, even a hunch, may further express something taking place in the mind. Most of us are familiar with the feelings of mad, sad, happy, glad that find their place of origin in the spiritual heart. The way we express ourselves socially with our loved ones and neighbors further reveals the dynamic found in the development of relationships.
Self-expression is involved at many different levels and places and times, consciously and unconsciously, externally and internally, and it obviously gets complicated. What brings clarity and is most important is our spiritual expression. It is our spiritual expression that forms and shapes all others. This attribute or characteristic is given to us at birth. It is a matter of the soul. Of course, the nature of each soul is different. What is held in common is the soul is more than clay or dust or human matter. The soul is God-given. It is sacred. It is not separate from the body in a dualistic, binary way of thinking. Rather the body is in the soul. And the body then becomes a mirror reflecting the soul and expresses the soul.
Of course, like with the environment we can pollute and damage the soul. The Twenty-third psalm clearly articulates the healing for the Lord to, “make me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his Name’s sake.” (vss. 2-3) God is present and active in the creation and the renewal of our soul.
This brings us then to the matters of the soul. That is, how do we recognize the soul? Paul writes, “we see in a mirror, dimly” (I Corinthians 13:12) meaning discernment is required. Ongoing care for the soul is necessary, and as we express our love for life, God takes “delight” in us. Delight is not simply an emotion. Unlike joy that becomes for us a state of being, delight is more whimsical, fun, playful and again directly related to the work and matter of the soul. There is a reciprocal rhythm in the soul. God delights in us as we delight in Him, and therein expresses from the very depths of our soul, a life that is delightful.
So come back with me to the picture of my granddaughter sitting underneath Buc-ee, the giant stuffed animal at a gas station. It is, for me, a picture of delight. Granted, there are others who might think differently. But what I recognize and see in this picture is the lightness and the imagination of the Celtic world where the unexpected, the unknown, and the extraordinary, appear and surprise us with a visitation.
As adults, the way we see things often makes them what they are. Children, however, have that innate ability to imagine and enjoy life and be surprised by delight. It is an expression of their soul which we recognize by experiencing with them a life that is truly delightful.