Wednesday, September 9

Joy...the fabric of hope, love and peace...deep in my heart

“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22 NIV)

The kids are safely ensconced in their individual schools, Sara at Farrand and Casey at Central, and I have met with the Teacher Consultant regarding Casey’s IEP. It looks like Central will not be able to give him the support he needs for his cognitive impairment which means he’ll have to move over to Discovery. Life goes on, its struggles never far from mind and its demands never ceasing in my ear. Sorrows and heartaches beat in tune with my heart……the future doesn’t look bright, even without shades.

A friend of mine on Facebook, Kimberly Cash-Tate, writes a devotional “Colored in Christ” and the most recent was “I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy…..” She references the verse above and says this, “God didn’t give us joy just to feel giddy. It fortifies us. It helps us endure. Like Jesus, believers know that this life on earth isn’t all there is, no matter the trial. We’ve got an eternity set before us.”

I look at the life that I have lived so far upon this world and I, quite frankly, am amazed that I have survived so far…even still today…both life in general and the attempts that I made to try and exit out early. Sometimes, it isn’t amazement but a sullen sorrow that I have. Sometimes I wonder if God is playing some cosmic game where I am the pawn with the big old red target plastered on my back…..customized for everything possible that could go wrong, be difficult or painful. It is very natural for me to withdraw from the world, to protect me and my children from the difficulties that are presented to us and the ignorant attitudes that can be so viciously applied from those who seem to have no regard for the well-being of those they should. Others, brave enough to step into the chaos of the life that this part of the Hutson family lives, are disrupted and don’t seem to fare too well for too long because of the myriad of complexities and relational defects that plague my children and break my heart. They fall away into the annals of the past, sad reminders of what could have been and what is not.

Sometimes, stumbling around in this darkness that permeates the world…..not so much casting out the junk, that ‘stuff’ that God is working on, but moving it around so that, in my own broken, dysfunctional way I can move….for the sake of my children…I break further and feel more and more unable to overcome the major mountains of my life, straddled as they are with the Goliaths of my deepest fears. Even as I fall to my knees, overwhelmed with depression and heartbreak, as that anvil of living slams into me again and again to bury me in the dirt from whence I was formed…..I cannot escape that knowledge that God is good, merciful and graceful…..even in the depth of my despair, I cannot escape that fact that God is…..GOD.

At times like those, that knowledge haunts me….doesn’t give me peace….doesn’t give me strength…it hangs like that undesired diagnosis from the Doctor: incurable cancer, stage 4, and only months to live.

You can’t escape its complications, its connotations….God exists and isn’t going away, even if you move to that state down south of the everglades called Denial.
He is unmovable, unshakeable and totally undeniable……there is no way to ignore that pink elephant that sits in the corner of the room…..even denying His voice doesn’t do any good….in the middle of the tempest, battered back and forth by the mighty waves, pummeled by the merciless gale and listening to the stressed joints of your vessel straining to the point of sheering….you can’t deny Him.

That knowledge keeps you fighting against the gales of this life; struggling even as the ship fills to the bottom of the gunwales with icy cold, black water of the depths….even as the masts of your dreams come crashing upon the deck of harsh reality….even as your world is reduced to a small life raft bobbing on the vast open waters…..even when it seems all hope is gone… drives you beyond yourself and its hopelessness.

Some call it the unshakeable ‘human’ spirit….that essence of humanity that has driven us from the protoplasmic wiggly mess to grow legs, grow through the centuries’ march to that complex form that we currently inhabit as a ‘twenty-second century’ construct of mankind….or, to be PC, Humankind…

According to those, it is such ‘drive’ that has brought us through the dark ages and the industrial age into the technological age… is the driving force that causes us to invent, to question and to divine our place in this universe……That ‘human spirit’… is the reason why abortions continue to decimate entire populations and races, why abnormal and psychological/physiological behaviors continue to destroy the fabric that stitches the myriad of complex human personalities and cultures together and pulls apart the entire cohesiveness of the ‘societal’ makeup of the species called homo sapiens.

It’s ugly, broken and corrupted head was first reared in the Garden and it has been slowly killing itself ever since. It’s driving force isn’t ‘being’, ‘who am I’ and ‘why am I here,’ it is to create a way so that it can deny the truth, that we are created beings who corrupted ourselves through sin and are in need of salvation that only that Creator can effectively deliver to us. If we can only prove the illogical probability of our own ‘chance’ existence, we will have effectively proven the concept of a Creator is false and therefore our own corruption is a figurative thing, individually defined. We will be the unlikely, undesigned Masters of the Universe……and the source of our own destruction when such illogic becomes logical.

Some call it the ‘collective consciousness’, that massive cerebral mystical being….made up of all of us, mini-gods, self-aware, self-evolved and self-determining. It is what brought humanity from the oozing fields of prehistoric life into the upright forms today, highly intelligent and socially evolved. It is the “CC” that is driving humanity to the ‘next level’ of consciousness…..when we will become one with the cosmic and float among the stars in a mental/spiritual return to that protoplasmic organism of our creation……the ultimate circle of life; birth, life, evolution, expansion into the cosmic……never-ending and definitely non-fatal.

Those who fail to achieve the higher consciousness will simply be absorbed.

None of it answers everything….nothing explains its existence in the primordial ooze before words could be shaped to explain its concept. It is there, as if designed and grafted into our being, the fiber of our physical/mental/spiritual totality of our being collectively called human---which works independently and co-dependently together for a purpose designed by something other than ourselves. It drives us to supersede our ‘animalistic’ instincts for the sake of the other, to seek beyond ourselves and to care for the wounded, hurting and broken of our species…..beyond the ‘conscious human spirit’ that calls for survival of the fittest….

As if, in our design there was given a measure of this stuff…..that drives us to find more of it within ourselves, our world and those around us.

It isn’t love; unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another or the warm attachment, enthusiasm, devotion or affection for another……

It isn’t hope, for hope without it is nothing except a statement, a wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment that is absent of any life…..

It isn’t peace, for without it peace is nothing but a fragile individualized inner contentment or serenity that is unsustainable in the harsh light of day…….

It entices us into places we have been hurt before, if only to feel it’s temporary and brief warmth again for a short time…….

It dares us to love, to hope and to be peaceful in this midst of being in a self-serving, individual world that cuts us daily, wounds us weekly and demands everything from us............

It rallies against our ‘human spirit’, is indefinable by our ‘consciousness’ and defies our attempts to create it unreliant upon anything else that may cause its collapse. It exists where it shouldn’t, moves us into places we may not want to go and propels us to do more than we might be comfortable doing; for others and the society as a whole. And sometimes it is a deep river within the protected walls of our heart.

But, when we experience it… is an intense, ecstatic and exultant happiness that renews our hope, sweetens our love and brings peace in the chaos. It allows us to experience an undeniable reason to keep fighting, keep struggling and keep working towards its embrace again….laughing madly in the face of the tempest. When felt, it vibrates within the fibers of our being, physiologically and psychologically, as if we’ve touched upon that which we were designed to continually feel, to be in a state of each and every moment of our lives… makes us feel ALIVE

It’s name is Joy…………………

From the joy of our Father, we were created… live and to be in relationship with Him. From the joy of the Father and the Son, the sorrow of the Cross was endured…..for the joy that would be reborn from its sadness and corruption would bring humanity back into His arms, in relationship with Him.

From joy, we strive to live a ‘Christ-like’ life, forsaking our comfort; peace and measure for the sake of helping others find that joy….a sustained, living and breathing happiness that comes from an indefinable source….God. Even in the midst of our sorrows, it is the smile that comes to our face as we;

Hear the whispered words, “I love you”, from our children……………………………………….

Think of the beating heart of a unborn child that beats within a woman’s body.........................

Feel the tender embrace of another after the brutality of our peers……………………………..

Know we are truly, deeply and powerfully loved in measures we do not deserve…………….

It brings us to a group of fellow ‘like-minded’ fellow human beings, in various sizes and shapes, to lift our voices (and sometimes our hands) above the impoverished state of our world to raise high our thankfulness, hopefulness and happiness to a Father who loves us, a Son who died for us and a Spirit that struggles for us each day of our sorrowful lives.

It is what creates, breathes life into and endures the ability to struggle through the trials, tribulations and sorrows because of the knowledge of its existence in a God who created us, died for us and beckons us back to His arms. Who holds, for a little while, His righteous wrath so that His desire that none should perish but all know the happiness of eternal life.

It is that knowledge that, even as we live in sorrowful grief, that sustains the hope and belief that we will be back in those arms again… soon as we see the face that is it source and we know upon that day………..

Our Joy will never cease………

because our Savior has come back to make it complete.

I have joy, joy, joy, joy deep in my heart….deep in my heart….deep in my heart

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