Essay / Misc.

For Susan: Unboisterous Mirth and Placid Gayety

“There are souls too in the world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere, and of leaving it behind them when they go. Joy gushes from under their fingers like jets of light. There is something in their very presence, in their mere silent company, from which joy cannot be extricated and laid aside. Their influence is an inevitable gladdening of the heart. It seems as if a shadow of God’s own gift had passed upon them. They give light without meaning to shine; and coy hearts, like the bashful insects, come forth and almost lay aside their sad natures. Somehow, too, the joy all turns to God. Without speaking of him, it preaches him. Its odor is as the odor of his presence. It leaves tranquility behind, and not unfrequently sweet tears of prayer. All things grow silently Christian under its reign. It brightens, ripens, softens, transfigures like the sunlight, the most improbable things which come within its sphere. A single gifted heart like this is the apostle of its neighborhood. … To live with them is to dwell in a perpetual sunset of unboisterous mirth and placid gayety.”

— Frederick W. Faber (1814-1863), Bethlehem, p. 350.

Share this essay [social_share/]