Thursday, February 20, 2014

Joy (Part 5)

Wendy wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and shuffled from her bedroom to her living room. Exhausted from that little bit of expended energy, she curled into a ball on the couch. She was tired of feeling tired, sick of being sick all the time. She missed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and she hated having to carefully scrutinize the lists of ingredients on everything she bought. She hugged her knees to her chest, and wondered if a prolonged life was really worth all the obsessive precautionary measures she would have to take. Feeling weary and inconsolably trapped, and hating her body and her outlook, she cried herself to sleep.

“Follow me,” she heard from behind her, in a gentle tone as though it called her to join a game. She tried to turn around, but as in some dreams that you cannot control, she could not see the source of the invitation. She looked down, and saw a shadow cast before her, with arms moving and head tilting side to side. She understood then, and lifted her arms. Like a dance, she moved so that her own shadow was hidden in the other, following carefully each motion.

When the dance became more beautiful and complicated, she couldn’t keep up, so from behind a strong pair of hands took hold of hers. “May I lead you?” he asked. As they danced together, Wendy heard music that accompanied and inspired, and she smiled, for here with the man with the iridescent mind, she felt strong, healthy, whole, and full of life. His presence was a great comfort to her, and she wanted to dance like this with him forever.

“You can.” She was surprised when he answered her thoughts with these words. “Let me always lead you, and guide you when you don’t know what to do, and carry you when you cannot go on. Let my life be sufficient for you… let my colors reflect in your mind. Your illness will not disappear, but it can be made beautiful in me…” Then the voice faded and she awoke.

Once more, Wendy, Lily and Joy shared similar dreams. They gathered together the next morning, early, at Wendy’s house. Lily was thrilled to fill in what she had learned. “I got to ask Him how I could reflect His colors, and He told me to meet with him, to dance and sing and rest with him, and he would cause it to happen. His colors are so brilliant – his greens are fresher and newer and lovelier and more alive than the Greenest Hope I have ever imagined! I wonder how I could ever reflect anything that beautiful?”

“I think you already are,” Joy pointed out with a smile. “Your mind is becoming like a marble, with different shades of green swirling and blending together. It’s not perfect, but it is quite lovely to look at – full of depth and dimension. It shows that you have wrestled with the clouds and darkness of life and still hold on to Hope in the midst of it… a Hope more pure and bright than you ever had before… almost like the shadows serve not to quench it, but to highlight it.”

Wendy’s eyes grew wide with understanding. “That must be what He meant! Somehow he is adding his color to our suffering. Our pain, weakness, and illness, are like a dark background that shows off the light and color he brings. Joy, your mind is also swirling, proving that pain and joy can both be a part of life – that pain doesn’t have to destroy joy, but can put it on display.”

“And there can be comfort in the midst of the pain, Wendy,” Joy added. “Our comfort is not in healing or becoming ‘normal’ again… what is our comfort?”

“It is the man with the iridescent mind!” Lily concluded with excitement. “Ever since he came to us in our own suffering, we have been comforted. Ever since he taught us and led us in that dance, we have had joy. And now, as we see what he is doing in our minds, we have hope, because he has promised never to leave us and to make us more and more beautiful.”

Just then there was a knock at the door, and the three women turned to see, standing in the doorway, the man who had met each of them in their dreams. He sat with them and smiled. “I am the Son of the Great King,” he said, “and I have come here to lead you, heal you, and give you greater joy than you have ever known.” He called them daughters, and talked with them for hours, making them laugh, making promises, comforting them, answering some of their questions, and asking them to trust him with the rest. They each decided to follow him and listen to his voice, and see what great joy he would bring.

Years went by, and the women became well-known throughout the realm for their vivid, marbled minds. They loved and served others, and continued to counsel the downcast, always by introducing them to the Son of the Great King, who led them day by day. Other’s minds swirled and changed through this relationship, but none were quite as brilliant as the colors of the three friends… for nothing brings beauty to life quite like Hope, Comfort, and Joy.

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