Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” C.S. Lewis
When I told my little lovelies that I wrote about them and their “chicken babies” last Thursday they insisted I write about it again today and let you know that we have 25 new “students” in our classroom. As you might imagine, hatch day was filled with great excitement. There was lots of jumping, screeching, hugging, laughing and more smiles and high fives than I could count. We even managed to share the excitement and the chance to see a chick hatch with Mrs. Hattis and Bridget who were absent on hatch day by using face time on our new classroom iPad. I love this first grade project for many reasons, but the best part of the whole thing…the overwhelming, pure, and completely unreserved JOY and EXCITEMENT it brings. That never gets old! It made me wonder though…why is it that we as adults don’t often show that same kind of contagious happiness and excitement? Are we too tall, too sophisticated, too proper or just too busy to stop and enjoy the simple things that bring that kind of raw, simple emotion and reaction?
We have officially entered into the most powerful week of the Christian year. During the next few days we will celebrate the events that are the foundation of all our beliefs. We rejoiced on Palm Sunday as we shouted, “Hosanna!” and remembered Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
I learned Friday that Jesus rode on a donkey because if you entered the
city on a donkey it signified “peaceful intentions”. (I had one little lovely who thought Jesus should have ridden a big camel so everyone could have seen him better.) Thursday we will recall the events of the Last Supper of the Lord. That night in the history of our faith is so full of events and significance I could devote a whole post just to that night! This past year, I have been stirred by the significance of the washing of the feet and the call we all received that holy night to live a life of service. As I sat watching the
kids squeal and hop around, cheering for each little chick as it worked to break free of its shell I made some discoveries about service and joy. For 21 days, 36 little people lovingly turned the eggs and peered into the incubator as they watched and prayed for their babies to be. They listened intently to every little detail of their development and they monitored the hygrometer dozens of times a day just to be sure everything was perfect. Why? They had nothing to gain by it…no money to be made…no fame to be achieved…no status to be elevated. They were in it for something much bigger and on hatch day I had a front row seat to just how big that something was! It was life! Simple as that! They were busy loving something even though it could never love them back. They just wanted to be of service…they just wanted to use their gifts to bring life.
So how do we get it so tangled up as adults? Jesus showed us so simply as he entered an angry city in peace and gently washed the feet of His friends. He showed us how to act gently, live simply and above all celebrate the gift of life. If it’s possible for a child to love a chicken…my lovelies do.
They remind me each spring that I need to think so much less about things
of the world and think so much more about the ways I can show Christ’s gentle service. They remind me how precious life is and how appreciating it should catapult up my priority list. I challenged an audience recently to respect life by trying extra hard to “ be present” for five people in the
following week. A young mother stopped me and said the challenge hit home. She is the mother of a beautiful, smiley, chubby-cheeked little girl and she said she would accept the challenge in the grocery store. It seems
people are constantly stopping her in the store to talk and dote over her
daughter and she always feels like she’s in such a rush to finish shopping and get on with things. She said she realized what a joy and a gift it could be if she would just slow down and enjoy the people enjoying the cute cheerfulness her daughter radiates. It starts with something that
simple. So go ahead…use this Holy Week to love and serve another by sharing and appreciating life.
A Seed to Plant: Be present for 5 people this week as you offer an act of loving service to each of them.
Blessings on your day!
Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com