As I read Psalm 30 tonight, I pouted. Joy has not always come in the morning this week, but I do feel clothed in Joy. When I lit the Joy candle on Sunday, I thought I would relight it as I had previous weeks with Hope and Peace. As you can see in this photo, I have not burned it much at all. It stands tall, beckoning me to know it is still there. I look at it once in awhile and think I need to light it but then I do not.
I have been dashing out the door without doing my morning readings. I start everyday with my morning offering and prayer remembrances but the readings have been sped read at night. It has not been too calming or enlightening. I usually do the readings prayerfully in the morning and then at night return to them as I post my reflections here. For those who follow me, you can see that too has not been successful this week.
Instead, I have been running off to the hospital or some appointment this week, distracted and often interrupted by curve balls. My kitchen dances have been short as I have multi-tasked even while I have made my breakfast. I feel slightly scrunched by Satan, who is behaving like an annoying mosquito who keeps me under the blanket instead of throwing off my covers and getting on with the day. I hardly can decide what to put on each day, and Joy has not come to mind much.
My Christmas letter is not yet written. Shopping is not going to happen beyond what I have done. Christmas cards seem like a chore instead of what I had in mind. Socializing seems like an exhausting prospect. I need more sleep so that I can greet Joy in the morning.
My social worker and I were talking earlier this week about doing only what brings me life. The priest I saw today for reconciliation suggested that I take care of myself first. Yes, that is the goal but I keep getting broadsided. I learned last night that a friend of mine lost her brother suddenly five days ago. I was stunned. I had just seen him less than a month ago at an event that we all attend annually. I thought he had looked tired. The family has always been gracious and welcoming to me–for three decades now. I had a videocall with my friend to express my sympathies at the passing of her brother when I got home today. I am saddened that he leaves behind a wife, son, and daughter, his three sisters, and many people who loved him. He was only a few years older than me. You just never know.
This is why it is important to embrace Joy each morning whenever feasibly possible…to consciously chose to put on Joy and wrap it tightly around you. You just do not know what will come in the next 24 hours. Joy does not equal happiness. Joy is something that is deeper, broader, and more encompassing. Happiness is fleeting. Joy survives, despite it all. You may miss its quiet call in the morning but if you listen carefully, you will catch its whisper during the day and if you are wise, you will rise to embrace Joy. Joy will not abandon you. Despite all that happens, Joy has visited this week and nudged me to notice. My heart is grateful for its persistence.
Do you put on Joy in the morning?
On the hardest of days, will you rise to embrace Joy?
Glorious One, you provide the finest clothes for us, if we allow you to rummage through our closet. Thank you for choosing Joy to dress our souls in. Keep lavishing us in this designer outfit so that we may shine in a world desperate for hope, peace, and love. Amen.