I don’t usually dance on Monday mornings at 8:51 am. I’m more apt to be found hiding in my office, downing a second cup of coffee, printing off my To Do list for the week. But when I heard my friend, Bootie, playing Jingle Bells on guitar downstairs, accompanied by back up singers and dancers from our preschool, each one with her own distinctive style, I had to come down and investigate.
I had spent the weekend witnessing a strange, beautiful phenomena and darn it, here it was again!
JOY was on the loose!
I’d seen it over and over this weekend; joy, intent on sneaking into places I hadn’t expected. And some of them were pretty dark.
It’s so REFRESHING to be surprised by joy.
Some people (including me) have been wringing their hands ever since the election. They’ve been listening to stories from people they know and love and from strangers alike, heartbreaking stories about how people just trying to live their lives encounter prejudice or misogyny, stories of family members turning their backs on each other, stories of cruelty and injustice, in plain sight.
I’ve been knee deep in these stories and sometimes they feel so heavy. But then I see and hear and read about how people respond and I feel the electric surge of hope!
I watch the man at the post office hold the door for the lady in the head scarf with the baby, and I feel it. I see the family drop off food in the bin at the grocery store for the hungry, and I feel it. I watch the lady try out her Spanish with the man behind the counter, just to be friendly, and I feel it. I see people who are different in every possible way chat with each other in the waiting room, and I feel it.
I feel the hope and joy, and I wonder where it comes from, all this goodwill. All this beauty.
And then a child showed me.
In Sunday school this week, the children heard the story about Gabriel’s visit to Mary and then Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. “I wonder what God may be trying to tell you in this story,” the teacher said. “I wonder what message God has for you today.”
A third grader spoke up. “The Word is still coming into the world,” she said.
That’s when this Minister to Children fell over.
God’s Word is still coming into the world (!) whether we notice it or not! Whether we are willing to join in, or whether we choose to stay on our rear ends, blabbing with each other about how great it is being Christian.
God’s message of love is coming. It’s sneaking in all over the place, from all directions. It’s seeking out people in pain and people who willing to be God’s loving arms.
Do you feel it? Sign me up!
Now, let me find those dancing shoes!