|Two bloggers in this community recently got me to thinking hard about the sadness and pain that weave their way through my written words. “Beautiful writing, you seem so sad; I hope your future brings all that’s satisfying,” the Wandering Quill wrote. And Marianne, of Writingforjoy.wordpress.com, reminded me that “joy usually has a more inviting nature, and the heart finds its rightful place there. It’s where God dwells and Spirit is active.”But I’m really a happy girl, I wanted to shout. Really! Really?
Well, yeah. I mean, I laugh like nobody’s business. I dance. I play cars and make silly faces with four year olds. I tease teenagers. I’m zany, silly, funny. Of course, readers might not necessarily pick up on any of that because, well, when I write, I usually focus on what’s broken, thus, the title and mission of this blog– whether broken hearts, splintered souls or unhealthy bodies, or broken furniture, unfinished quilts or houses in need of refurbishing. I especially get hung up on these things, yet my ultimate mission is certainly NOT to zap the joy out of folks.
Am I a happy girl? Relatively. But as I look in the mirror, I see in my pupils the shadows that dart back and forth even when I smile. Life has been for me what it has been for all of us– full of joy and pain. I heard a great quote today: “Pain reminds us of a deeper need, which is a need for God.” — Pastor Greg Laurie. Before that, I heard another teacher, Jon Courson, talk about how Jesus was anointed with gladness. “He was the gladdest man to ever live,” he said, and I smiled a real one, a smile from the heart. Imagine that: Jesus, despite everything He went through, everything He sees His sheep going through even today, is, at His deepest, glad. Anointed with gladness. May we all stand under Him for some overflow of gladness.
And so, I thank Marianne and Wandering Quill for their loving reminders. As I continue to use the essay or poetic form to delve into life– past, present, future– I will try to find a balance that captures a range of experiences and emotions. And, despite what I’m writing or living in the moment, I will search my heart for contentment, knowing that at the root of contentment breathes gratitude.