[“Summoning Joy” – written by Becky Thurman]
One day in the Spring I was sitting in line at a McDonald’s drive-thru, one of those that divides into two lanes wrapped around the building. I was on the outer circle. She was on the inner circle. Our windows were rolled down as each of us waited to be next at our intercom. I could feel the boom, boom of her music playing. I glanced over to find her dancing and singing at the top of her lungs alone in her car. She caught my eye and called out for me to dance with her. My first response was an “I don’t know what you’re thinking” expression. But something in me leaned toward the “why not?”
I awkwardly danced along. We both laughed but I noticed my heart felt a little lighter. As she pulled forward I realized I was still smiling. When I arrived at the cashier’s window, I saw her smiling too. I said (referencing the dancing queen) “she sure is spreading joy in the world today, isn’t she?” The cashier agreed and we both kept smiling.
All day I kept thinking – why don’t we celebrate more? We are taught it is okay to laugh – but don’t be too loud. Those tears are alright but get over it quickly. That day in the McDonald’s drive-thru I was given joy in my ordinary day. What a gift! Joy is one of those deep forces in our lives that needs to be acknowledged.
Joy is not always a happy dance in a drive-thru. Some days it is seeing the wonder in the eyes of a child even while you are grieving the loss of a dear friend. Both are sacred. Both are holy. Some days it’s savoring a cookie at the park with your son, while praying that the job you lost yesterday will be replaced tomorrow. Both are sacred. Both are holy. The redemption Jesus brought us as a beautiful baby boy here on earth was bought for us with nail-pierced hands on an ugly cross. Both are sacred. Both are holy.
Whatever your circumstance today, we invite you to take a few minutes to listen to this Christmas song by Proskuneo in Swahili and French, and dance along. See if your heart feels a bit lighter as you do.
In a field outside Bethlehem the angels showed up to the shepherds with an invitation. Yes, the night is dark. Yes, the earth is groaning. BUT…a baby has been born. Don’t forget who He is. He’s the one you have been waiting for – the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This is good news! I know you can’t see it yet, but just over the way snuggled in his momma’s arms is a baby who has the power to change everything.
“This will bring great joy to all people so let’s rejoice!” they said. It is for ALL people. Including YOU.
A blessing for you:
May you know that joy is for you. May you have courage to hold onto hope that joy will come again – in the morning, after the dark. May you summon joy in the dark just as the angels helped the shepherds do. Remember who Jesus is. He’s the Deliverer you are waiting for. He is the Redeemer who has come!