I have been thinking more about joy this week. I have even actually found myself laughing more, even about simple things. It reminds me a great deal of my mother. I have said many times that my mother was a simple woman. She never needed much or desired great things. She had a heart for teaching children and in many ways, she kept her child-like faith her whole life. The world was always filled with awe and wonder for her. Even as it approaches 11 years since her death, one of my most cherished and enduring memories of her is her joy. She laughed at everything and simple things that for most are overlooked, forgotten or ignored, she found joy in those things and inevitably that joy would bubble up into laughter.
This has been a difficult year. We have not had many things to be joyful about this year. But if my mother were still alive, I think that she would tell us that we have so much to be joyful and laugh about. Simply take the time to notice all of God's simple joys and treasures. A child's simple, confused, yet heart-felt expression or a dog sliding across your slick hard wood floor because it can't gain enough traction to take the needed turn before crashing through your office.
Yes, this has been a difficult year for many of us in many different ways. C.S. Lewis suggests that joy often comes as a surprise. It invades the most sorrowful spaces. It reminds us that beauty and goodness and life can grow even in the most unpromising soil. Even though times may be difficult, slow down, look for joy, and you may be surprised by the smile that sneaks up on your face, and that smile may just bubble up a little laugh. Remember, weeping is temporary, joy will come in the morning.