Joy is a bit thin on the ground at the moment, isn’t it? So many of us are feeling overwhelmed by individual and collective sadness and grief, with longings for change going unmet and unaddressed.
It’s like the whole world is in a state of mourning and we don’t know how to get through it or where to find joy anymore. Or maybe we do. Perhaps joy is much closer to home than we anticipate.
Indoors with our loved ones, or just outside our window, perhaps, even if we can’t see a great deal because it resembles a concrete jungle. You may be wondering: What kind of joy can those things bring to me?
More than you might think, my friend. Due to decades of being housebound by chronic illness, and suffering episodes of depression, I try to discover any window, any opening to joy I can find.
I seek to focus on my heart’s longing for joy and what encourages it to flourish, which means looking at the simple, small, and often overlooked. And it includes developing a deeper gratitude for my loved ones.
Window watcher that I am,
let my gaze linger with sacred awe
longer than before,
to truly see each tree
and flower and leaf as portents
of hope and promise.
I want to drain
the last ounce of joy I find
in every day,
drink the cup dry of it,
keep memories as dregs.
I long to hold
the wonder found right here
and right now,
like a fragile butterfly,
let it loose to climb the sky.
I seek to find
the holy ordinary
in people, trees
and leaves, clouds, fiery sunsets,
in everything light reflects.
I desire to dream
let purpose unfold
like a story I have known,
full of hope beyond this world.
I yearn to touch
earthly things stamped with grace,
trace God’s footprints,
sense them moving in my soul,
where I will never grow old.
The view outside my window is far from scenic, but I do take pleasure in watching sky changing colour, seeing variable shape and type of clouds, noting emergence of greening tips and flowers on plants or observing a solitary tree as its leaves alter with the seasons.
Even a concrete wall can be interesting because it attract insects, has different patterns of stone within it or changes shade, depending on where the light falls and catches it.
Having chronic illness has taught me not to despise the tiny, mundane things of life. Whether in lockdown or not, it helps to appreciate the blessings before us rather than dwell on what we’ve lost.
Your longings are a window into your soul too. What are you longing for, my friend? Where are you experiencing your longings being met in these challenging times? May the joy of the Lord be our strength today, and always.
PS: This post was inspired by Chronic Joy Ministry’s Poetry Prompt: Windows and Trees. Do check out their great resources! 🙂 ❤
14 thoughts on “window: finding an opening for joy to flourish”
From the opening line of your poem you had me. Aren’t we all window watchers now?
This too shall pass. We have to be patient. Even in the confines of our homes, there is still room for HIS light and love to shine through.
Blessings to you and everyone you love.
Indeed we are, Drew, though some more reluctantly than others, I guess. It helps to remember that this too shall pass and life will gradually return to a new normal. Patience isn’t naturally my strong suit but I think I’m getting better at it with lots of practise over the years! 😉 Thankfully, God’s radiant love and light reach us wherever we are and however we might be situated. In fact, they shine brighter still when life is especially hard or grim. Thank you for your kind thoughts. May God’s healing compassion, mercy and grace surround you and your loved ones. Look after yourself, my friend, and keep writing beautiful poetry that brings people hope and joy. 💙
Good afternoon, Joy, what beautiful truth here. Turning our eyes to “holy ordinary”. It is hard but possible. I pray your longings continue to bless us with new posts. I too have had depression in the not so far past. It seems to be a springboard to chasing after joy in the every day. I am not perfect at it, but so much more aware than ever now. Have a beauty-full day, Joy. Love in Christ, Julie
Good evening, Julie. Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement. I believe we have to train ourselves to look for the holy ordinary in our midst because it’s not always easy for us to sense it. I’m sorry to hear you’ve also had bouts of depression. But I love how you see it as “a springboard to chasing after joy in the every day.” Awareness can be developed and God will give us a deeper hunger for it if we ask him to. May the rest of your day be “beauty-full” and offer you small pockets of peace, rest and joy. Love and hugs xo ❤️
Dear Joy, what a lovely poem! This stanza is drawing me in today:
“to truly see each tree
and flower and leaf as portents
of hope and promise.”
In the midst of yet more medication side effects, I felt a small glimmer of hope to glance out the window and see buds on the cherry tree. And then to come here and read your words–the glimmer is sparked again. Thank you Dear Friend for sharing from the gifts planted deep within your own heart. Blessings, love, and hugs to you! Xoxo
Dear Bettie, I’m grateful the poem has resonated with you and inspired you to notice buds on a cherry tree outside your window. That must be a heartwarming sight especially when they burst into full bloom. But I am sorry to hear how you are battling yet another set of horrible, medication-induced side effects.
May you be enabled to hold onto each small glimpse and glimmer of hope to see you through this tough time. And may relief come soon to help ease your side effect symptoms and pain. You are very much in my thoughts and prayers, dear friend. May God give you His eternal hope and strength and patient endurance. Sending much love and gentle hugs. xoxo 💜
This is so beautiful. Thank you dear friend for the tenderness and sensitivity of your words.
With love to you. 🙂
Thank you, Elizabeth, for you kind and encouraging words! I also appreciate the sensitivity of your prayerful contemplations. And I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well and safe. Blessings and love to you, dear friend. 😊❤️
Thank you, we are all well. It is a real fellowship in His Spirit that we share, isn’t it. Such a blessing. With love to you dear friend. xx
Oh that’s good news, praise God! Yes, our fellowship in the Spirit is a beautiful gift of grace. Being part of the Body of Christ helps us feel less alone with our struggles on the journey of faith because we have others who encourage, support, come alongside and pray for us. It works both ways, of course. Blessings and love to you too, dear friend. xo ❤
I don’t know how you do a heart, but if I did I would send one!! Take care dear friend and thank you for all your kindness. xxx
Elizabeth, it’s quite simple when you use a mobile phone or tablet because they have a range of emojis to choose from. But on a PC I usually use a left facing arrow < followed by a 3 – with no space between them – thus creating ❤ which makes a heart shape, although it doesn’t always automatically translate into a proper heart. Hope it works for you too! Xox 😉💜
<3- Haha! I tried!! Thank you so much for trying to help me. I think I may be beyond help!! <3-
Actually, it’s probably my error for putting a hyphen after the 3 because I was trying to bracket off that part of the instructions. Oops! I guess I must have only succeeded in confusing you instead… 😏 You could try again here or in an email to me if you prefer. I’d love to hear from you. You are far from beyond help, my friend. It looks like I need help to explain things better to you! At least it made you smile, and that’s worth a lot in these difficult days we are living in. xo 😊❤