Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Great Joy

Worship was finishing up at CBS....we're singing the last song. This is the time when the teachers line up our kids along the walls of the auditorium. One particular teacher caught my eye today. I think she teaches her son's class. He is usually confined to a wheelchair. I'm not sure of his condition but his arms are pulled crooked, tight to his chest-his legs are thin and shriveled, his head tends to flop or move sporadically. I've thought of her before....amazed that she obviously has a full plate but she still chooses to share God's word with a classroom full of 7 & 8 year olds.

She and her brood are not hard to miss because they stand against the stage. They are the only class who wait in front of us, just off to the side of where we follow the song lyrics on the screen.

But today I noticed her for another reason. She was gathering her students, making sure they stood in front of the stage not sitting on the stage. But my heart raced because today she wasn't pushing along her son. She was carrying him. A child almost three-quarters her size, and flailing about. She would set him on the stage to repostition him, but then he was back in her arms, cradled really. And as we sang, she rocked him. I tried to concentrate on the words, but my heart kept going back to she was flying him like an airplane....gently and not to attract attention, but dancing with him to the music. And I couldn't stop the tears falling down my cheeks.

I'm not that strong Lord, you know how my arms tired quickly when I had 10 pound newborns- I could hardly wait for their legs to become independent. Now I cradle them for hugs and songs and laughs, but I would never think of carrying them for more than a few minutes. And today Lord you sent this momma into my field of vision. She melted my soul with her pure devotion....her joy in holding that child. Lord, do you brace her arms? When she is tired, do you double her strength?

I revel in her joy. I always learned that Joy is not an's not a feeling. There was no obvious smile on this momma's face......but there was sincerity. This was normal, this was life....she was living.....JOY. I truly believe that Joy comes from a deeper assurance. This momma knew, that her burden was great, but she wasn't wallowing. She was dancing........and her baby looked light in her arms. This child will always need her. I doubt that he will ever have the ability to care for himself. But God knew that......He knew that when He formed that momma, and He knew that when He created her child. This was no accident, God knew what would bring her to her spiritual knees, and take her to Him on a daily basis.

He knows the same for me. My trials may seem small on the scale of trials in this world. But they make me tired....and I need someone to lift up my arms. Today my heart found strength in that momma's love. I didn't just see her dancing there.....I saw Jesus.

God cradle that family, wherever they rest tonight. You used them mightily today......may their loads feel feather-light tomorrow. For in them my heart found Great Joy.


Maritez said...

That was beautiful...wherever that mommy is, I wish she could read your tribute to her....what a testimony of love and selflessness....Now it's me who can't stop the tears from coming down...

Kristi said...

Wow... I came here to read your writer's workshop and found this post also. I cried! Thanks so much for sharing. And may He "lift your arms". :)