Sunday, July 1, 2007

Friday Five: Joyful Edition

(Originally posted April, 2007).

From the Revgals --

Jesus said to them, "Children, you have no fish, have you?" They answered him, "No."
He said to them, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea.
(John 21:5-7)

Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
(Psalm 30:5b)

This week I've been watching parents of the young people slain at Virgina Tech trying to make meaning out of the lives of their lost children, and each one seems to begin by focusing on something joyful about that child. It's a gift that most humans have brains wired to respond in that way. For some of us it can be harder to work our way out of dark places, but I believe joy remains the key. It is the spirit of resurrection.

Tell us about five people, places, or things that have brought surprising, healing joy into your life.


This is a good exercise, since I'm feeling a little anxious right now...remembering joy is a good spiritual practice. I'm going to try to focus on this week.

1a. Wednesday was my birthday, and when I got up to my carrel in the library after my 8am class, I found my cielo had left a beautiful card and roses, and my good friend JT had left a card and chocolate. A great way to start the day! That morning I had to finish a paper on antisemitism and Christian theology-- not really a happy topic -- so it was nice to look up at the roses and re-read the cards and remember that there is love in the world.

1b. And of course, my cielo brings me joy every single day, surprising, healing, beautiful, delightful joy. Which she certainly has this week.

2. Watching the Dodgers-Padres game on Sunday, Jackie Robinson Day. Seeing all the players wearing #42, hearing Rachel Robinson speak and then root for her boys from the press booth...well, the whole thing was moving.

3. Life at Iliff. There are some hard things going on right now, but there are also good buddies who affirm me in how I try to use my voice, and even when I lose my voice (like yesterday when a prof, um, "suggested" I keep quiet...grr) -- thanks, y'all. Never in my life have I been one of the "cool kids" but for some reason I seem to be here. It's the strangest feeling sometimes, just something I'm not used to. But I love these people, and am thankful for them.

4. There were several moments this week with my favorite prof that just exemplify how much joy I find in our relationship, and how thankful I am for it -- the least of which would be her insistence on the class singing me "Happy Birthday" on Wednesday. I don't want to say too much more...just...something about the power of being seen, of connection in the midst of struggling with painful realities, of care, of humor, of humanity...something about friendship, even though I fully expect her to grade me just as tough as always, to push me in my thinking, my interpreting...

5. I start working at a church on Monday, as an interim for the next four months while the pastor is on sabbatical. When I am not totally freaking out about it, I am delighted for the opportunity. They are a warm, friendly, funny little church that wants to reach out into the community, and wants me to help them know how to do that (they're a "white" church in a Latino neighborhood) in ways that are helpful and appropriate -- the pastor and the congregation are going to learn Spanish over the summer as a start. Pretty cool, really. To protect their anonymity (and mine), we'll just call them "HappyChurch" here.

OK, I feel better now!