Surprised by Joy


From the RevGals, this week’s Friday Five:

Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5b
— King David

This week I’ve been watching parents of the young people slain at Virgina Tech trying to make meaning out of the lives of their lost children, and each one seems to begin by focusing on something joyful about that child. It’s a gift that most humans have brains wired to respond in that way. For some of us it can be harder to work our way out of dark places, but I believe joy remains the key. It is the spirit of resurrection.

Tell us about five people, places, or things that have brought surprising, healing joy into your life.

Just to be different, I’ll do it in reverse order…

5. Photography: Capturing beauty in unusual (and usual) places. (I call this photo “Joy” because there it is – springing up in the hard places…)

4. The Walk to Emmaus: It’s hard to describe how 72 hours can change the heart and spirit of a committed Christian. But it did and does! Tears, laughter, devotion, praise, reflection, the Eucharist, the bond of the Holy Spirit… I’m serving on a team next week and look forward to pouring out of myself for the pilgrims. It’s also where I learned how to do…

3. Clowning: Becoming a “fool for Christ” and putting on the new self through Christian clowning is an amazing experience. I’ve been everything from a little kid to a church lady (and much wackiness in between) and known Jesus in a deeper way each time.

2. Family: I did not expect that having children and being married would bring healing to my primary (biological) relationships, but it did. Perhaps it was because I had to grow up to be a wife and mother? Dunno…

1. Worship: I’ve experienced it with drums in a tin roof building in Jos, in a cathedral with a pipe organ whose bass notes make your hair shake, on the side of a mountain on the Appalachian Trail, and in a movie theatre… Worship combines the things I love the most – people, music, Scripture and the Presence of God. And when God shows up, stand back!

JOYFULLY! (even with papers to finish…)

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