Advent: Day 8

To you who might be…
waiting and eager to make a move, and don’t know what to do
excited for the new season and ready, really ready for the next season
joyful and full and want even more
on the edge of faith, a step from throwing in the towel or rediscovering god again
ready to let the wonder and joy take over even though you’ve lost the practice of it
scared and barely remembering to take a moment at a time
ready to own your strength, even if it means you’re the first person to do it
waiting —
Here is an album of love, of cheer, of affirmation, of encouragement, of togetherness.

CBG: Joy

And [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:41-44

I find deep joy in this poor widow. She is poor and is acquainted with deep loss, yet gives everything she has, everything she has to live on, on God. If Jesus were not there, the disciples might not have known her circumstances and even judged her meager offerings.

Joy isn’t neglecting nor wearing our circumstances on our sleeves. Some may know what we’re going through and others might not, yet still the same we act. Joy isn’t necessarily showy and can be seen in our small acts. Joy isn’t necessarily for others and can be seen witnessed by others. Joy builds up our own integrity and courage. Joy requires faith. It requires being present in the moment while not being bogged down by the present situation.

Joy is quiet and full. Joy is found in the small moments of difficult decisions. Joy is a trust that things will work out. Joy is seeing beyond what you can presently see. Joy is the ambient hum of love and wholeness through all situations. Joy looks differently on everyone, but when you are in the presence of genuine joy, it quiets your own anxious stirrings so you can hear the faint melody of hope always playing throughout.

Prayer: God I pray for joy that helps be let go and surrender. God I pray for joy that expands all that I already have. God I pray for joy that centers and expands my capacity to love.

Character: Where is your focus on poverty and loss?

Grace: Who has shown you tremendous joy recently? How did it make you feel?