Monday, December 18, 2006

Joy is; joy remembers

As I drove to church yesterday, the first ping hit. I was tooling up the highway, listening to some of those verboten Christmas carols on the radio.

It was as if I felt a hand on me, and heard a voice with my spirit, not with my ears.

"Trust in me," God/Holy Spirit said.

It was not a question, but more of a statement of fact, as in "You do trust in me." It was a request for affirmation. There was delight, satisfaction in it.

I have put my trust more fully in God, after a time of depression and defensiveness, when I felt I had to leap in and do. I've been learning to relax more, to let go and let God -- as corny as that sounds.

I said, "I trust you, Lord," and felt something lift off me.

My eyelids fluttered; I got goosebumps and shivered. It's a good thing there was no traffic around me. I think I barely stayed in my traffic lane.

Joy flooded me; it was joy meeting joy -- my joy meeting God's delight. I was overwhelmed with the Spirit.

Profound contentment stayed with me through the service. Toward the end of the service came portions of one of my favorite spirit songs, by Martha Butler. The second ping:

I looked up and I saw my lord a coming
I looked up and I saw my lord a coming down the road

Alleluia, he is coming
Alleluia, he is here

I looked and I saw my lord a coming
Mary's son, Mary's son.

Alleluia, he is coming
Alleluia, he is here

Tears began to stream from eyes as I sang this song, so full of longing, so full of joy. It acknowledges the now and not yet: past present and future, all wrapped into one. And pain. It is a song most often heard around Easter.

Jesus is coming (again? for the first time ?); he will shed tears for us; he will die for love of us (we know this, even as we see him walking down the road toward us for the very first time), but he will rise. This little baby, Mary's son.

This song has special meaning to me, I think, because it's one I heard frequently as I was first coming into Christ's love, which was as the season of Lent turned to Easter.

Yesterday, I sang with joy, with true joy that acknowledges pain, past and future. Joy remembers; joy takes its moments and lives, in the best and worst of circumstances.

Alleluia, he is coming.

I love you Lord, and I put my trust in you.

Alleluia, he is here. Mary's son.

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