There’s a very small corner in my dining room. It’s where the opening to the kitchen, the dining room and the living room converge. It’s tiny and, although the three rooms are generally bathed in a gorgeous natural light, this little space is usually much darker. It’s where I put my coat rack and a small table for the usual things that need to be dropped as you come home and start to unwind…the place where you unload all those necessary things from the day that cover you up and weigh you down no matter what season it might be.
I see this corner throughout the day as I go about my housekeeping and my chair faces that direction when we are in the living room in the evenings. As I said, it is small and a bit dark and…it always makes me smile. Yes, smile. You see, not everything in the corner is dark. There’s a small glimmer of silver hanging there on the wall almost–but not quite!–out of sight from most of the people who pass through those openings and on full display from the comfort of my oh-so-very-vintage chair that used to belong to my maternal grandmother all those years ago. That chair was her unintended throne during the holidays or any time our very large and very loud family gathered together. That chair was where she sat so she could see everyone and we could all get a good view of her while she opened up our tokens of love and held small children in her lap while she listened and smiled at all the melee around her. That chair makes me happy…even though I cover up that raucous brown and gold printed fabric with a beautiful throw of red and green and cream roses. My grandmother would have really liked that throw.
She would also have approved of that small silver gleam from the corner.
It’s actually a Christmas ornament from a long-ago ornament swap party, but ever since I laid a very enthusiastic claim to it, it’s hung on the wall somewhere in my house year-round. It isn’t an expensive bauble and it still hangs by the silver ribbon that it came packaged in that night. Just three little letters hanging from a tinselized ribbon (and yes, I did just make up my very own word there…but it fits) and the letters are: J O Y.
When I moved to this new house, it seemed most appropriate to place it in the darkest corner of this house full of light so it could shine all the more. Real joy is like that too, you know. Sometimes it takes a bit of a dark patch to really let you appreciate the next time you experience joy and give it it’s proper due. It’s also good to keep joy in sight and refer back to it as often as you can…otherwise you can become a serious stick-in-the-mud even in places where there’s plenty of light to be had.
I know some of you have been struggling lately. I guess that’s pretty universal, isn’t it? I wish we could gather in my living room where we could pray together and laugh loud and long while we figured everything out…or at least figured out how best to respond to all of the crazy going on in the world, but that’s not possible today, so I’m just sitting here praying for you and wishing you can find your own joy in the corner where you are…and knowing that God in His wisdom knows just what we all need and how we all feel…and it reminds me of this sentiment from the Apostle John all those years ago:
“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” 2 John 1:12
Wishing for the visit, waiting on the answers and choosing to look for the joy…
Grace & Peace!