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! 🙂 ❤