Saturday, April 18, 2009
"You are sad now. I will see you again and then your hearts will be full of joy. No one can take your joy from you." John 16:22
This past week I had the opportunity to spend some time alone with my two older daughters. Emily and I stayed a few extra days with my mother while she was sick. Yesterday, I took old family rings to Ariel so that they can be re-sized for she and Adam when they get married in September. Emily and I did some exploring and shopping in Cape May, talking and laughing the whole time. And likewise with Ariel, we found ourselves laughing our heads off about ridiculous things. We laughed so hard in a department store dressing room that some other lady shouted to us and complimented us on having such a good time. Our hearts were full of joy doing the most simplest of things - being together. Being apart from my children, even though they are grown, has always been a challenge for me. As imperfect as I am as a mother, I still ache to see my three girls and am filled to overflowing when we are able to be together.
Jesus is talking to his disciples about his death and resurrection. They don't like what they hear and are sad at his suggestion of separation. They are human and find it very hard to believe that his promised return and presence is real. They are sad at the anticipation of losing their joy. The joy that being loved by Christ and walking his way has given them. They have become the family of God through Jesus and don't want that to change. Jesus promises them, that even as they are separated for a time, no one can take their family away, no one can take their joy.
This beautiful Saturday I am reminded that their are many who feel as if their joy has been taken away. Their spouse, parent or sibling has died. They have lost their job, their home and their community. They ache for new life. They ache for their loss. I ask God to give me the strength today to reach out to those who have lost their joy. I ask God to help me make them feel loved and included again. I pray that we can all be strengthened to reach out to who have lost their joy. May God give us the courage to make room in our lives and our families for them.