“for mourning robe the oil of gladness” (Isaiah 61: 3)

41F5F584-4F95-4A72-8862-C7DB45F651BB
Robert Collins

“Cry out for joy and gladness” (Isaiah 12: 6)

Three Small Joys

84A14868-3462-4DDB-8ECE-C9465DD256A0

1.

Lucy dog, at the shuddering thunder, slipping into Katrina’s and my bedroom and laying her muzzle on the edge of the bed, her nose (and breath, not a joy) letting me know she is available for a pat, a scratch behind her ears, the words “It’s okay, Lucy. It’s just thunder.”

84B3D991-2B16-4A1C-87E3-A996078619E6
Severin Hoin

2.

Lynn or Robert opening the back door to City Light Community Ministries each morning before I can phone the kitchen to say, “I am here.” How do they know? A mystery I don’t want to solve.

3C06CB08-1E94-40FD-A927-9174953715AC
Kelli Tungay

3.

Mr. Battles (Wilbur to me) singing out, “Hello, everyone,” at the front door of City Light each MWF at noon, spreading his wings over us, saying, “God bless you for what you do,” and when, yesterday, tired and disgruntled, I told Wilbur, “You think more of me than I do of myself,” and he laughed his deep-joy laugh and said, “Bob, you don’t know nothing ’bout how much God and I know you and love you no matter,” then laughed again.

38888EB9-CD4C-4662-9F4E-312001731D92
Gia Oris

So these three scenes are my cry “for joy and gladness,” all our cries at this time of the Coronavirus, COVID-19 contagion, especially my cry for my friends at City Light, for friends from Hardin-Simmons University.

8AAFF764-9845-4959-91EE-A23A8DF16FD0
Noah Silliman

And Wilbur says God will forgive me my mourning robe. Though I have not asked.

1B1B0B9C-3C91-4CAF-9410-248A89BAEAA7
Martina Vitakova