Tuesday, December 6, 2011


 Written November 4, 2011

We're having a service on The Fruits of the Spirit tonight, and David asked people to do a VERY short reflection on each one (like one minute FLAT). He wanted some different responses to just singing a song, so I offered to do a poem. So I wrote a couple for him. He loved my poems, but he also asked me to do a spoken reflection to go with it. There I felt a bit like the blind man being asked to describe the elephant... I'm fumbling in the dark and trying to get ahold of the most important part of it, but I don't know which one that is because it's too big to see the whole picture at once.

For those who aren't familiar with the bible verse, here it is -
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

My 'fruit' is joy, and I get to go second. Great joy! NOT! lol I've been thinking about it for the last three days and I've changed my tack about five times, so I really have no idea what I'm going to say when I stand up. I just hope God puts the right words into my mouth...
Here are my poems. I'm going to read the first one I wrote. I thought it might be a bit hard for people to 'get' becuase it doesn't rhyme, so I turned it into a conventional rhyming poem as well, but the more I look at the rhymed version the more I think it's trite and boring doggeral. There's a reason I very rarely attempt to rhyme when I write!

Joy is
The soap bubble of emotions -
Elusive to capture
But impossible to miss
When you see it.
Joy is
The fleeting moment
When elements of Creation intersect
to create perfection
from the most mundane elements.
Soap and water,
Sun and rain
The unforgettable flash of lightning
In the darkness of our lives.

It’s the shimmer on a soap bubble
 A hummingbird breezing by
The sparkle in the raindrops
That  bring a rainbow to the sky

The punchline of a bad joke
That never seemed to end
A gift of tears and laughter
Shared between true friends

The beauty of a flower
Growing tall amidst the weeds
The arms of God around us
In the deepest of our need.

If you blink you just might miss it
It never stays for long
But you’ll know it when you see it –
 Joy, our heart’s true song.

When David asked me to talk about Joy he asked me a question - is it possible to have too much joy? Too much joy? You might as well ask if you can have too much air.  Oh yes, you can. Putting somebody on oxygen can help keep them alive when they are very ill, but too much is as bad for their body as too little. But that's not the air that God created for us - that's air that we've monkeyed with for our own purposes.

So how about joy? It's not something you can stick in a bottle and hand out on order. There's a word for people who go looking for joy in bottles, and their lives are anything but joyful. Real God-given joy is not something that we can manufacture, create, or invoke when we want to feel it. It comes from being with people who care about you, in the place where God wants you to be, doing what you know that He has made you to do. It's a precious, un-recreatable experience that we need to treasure whenever we find it.

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