The Book of Joy
My friend attempted to console a relative who lost his daughter to cancer, at the age of 45. She left behind a loving husband and two wonderful children, 8 & 12. She was beautiful, talented, successful, caring, and a host of other superlatives that we wish for our children. She was a mirror image of her parents.
Ironically, her father sent my friend the “Book of Joy” at the onset of his daughter’s struggle with cancer. The copy he sent was underlined, with comments in the margins, stressing that “Joy” does not come from money, possessions, talent or fame. (The father was worth hundreds of millions, had homes on both coasts and in the mountains, furnished with tasteful antiques, along with the best cars, and an airplane.)
All of that stuff could not provide the solace he was seeking about his daughter’s condition.
Both, the Dahli Lama and Archbishop Tutu agreed that “Joy” does not come from fortune or fame, or any other secular stuff. They differed on the answer to “What dreams may come when we shed this mortal coil?”
The Dahli Lama’s answer to the essence of our existence lies within each person. Through contemplation and reincarnation, a person constantly refines himself, approaching, but never achieving perfection. That asymptotical process is based on self-reliance and mental focus.(A process the father practiced all his life
The above YouTube music video describes a self-reliant life that ends, without getting the desired outcomes.
The father was very intelligent, well educated, and immensely successful. He lived all his life based solely on self-reliance to achieve his goals. There wasn’t much time or room to consider a higher power outside of himself. But now, all his fortune, status, influence, and solutions, were worthless. (His wife confided that all he does is sit in a chair, and cry.) So, he doubted the value of his congruity to the Dahli Lama’s philosophy.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu provided an expanded Christian response, based on C. S. Lewis’ observation: “We don’t have a soul. We are a soul. We have a body.”
The Redemptive Cross insured that everyone’s soul will enjoy the companionship of God: Peace & Joy, forever – “No more death, nor pain, nor tears.” God’s unilateral, unconditional mercy, love, and forgiveness was spoken by Christ, from the Cross: “Father forgive them (His Jewish false accusers and Roman brutal executioners), for they know not what they do.” My friend thought that the father sent him the book to confirm those facts.
So, my friend sent a reassuring letter that God made everyone in His Image & Likeness to be Children of God and Heirs to Heaven. All enjoy the Forgiveness, of the welcoming embrace, of the outstretched arms, of the Redemptive Cross, equally. If his daughter believed that the above statements are true. Then, his daughter will experience the Majestic Creator’s Power & Wisdom, the Loving Redeemer’s Mercy & Love, and the Holy Spirit’s Peace & Joy, forever.
So, we do not say “Good-Bye”, but merely “Auf Wiedersehen” – for all who believe in God will meet again.
My friend received a thank you note from the father, after my friend sent “Reflections at Time of Passing”, in response to the “The Book of Joy”.