“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalms 30:11-12
Something sweet happened today. I met a friend for coffee and as we were sitting and talking I saw a couple of women and their little girls walk by the window. The door opened and the next thing I knew a three year old, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl smiled brightly at me and handed me a daisy. I thanked her and told her that the daisy was sweet and almost as beautiful as her!
After a bit I saw that the women and girls were leaving the coffee shop. I tried to get the women’s attention so I could make a comment about her little girl, but failed and thought that was the end of the experience. As I watched them leaving I saw the older girl, about eight years of age, stop and pick another daisy and head back in to the coffee shop. She stopped again at our table and handed my friend a daisy too. We told her how much we enjoyed the flower gifts and asked her name and her sister’s name. Her name is Rebecca and her little sister is Ellie.
These two little girls reminded me so much of Becky as a child. Becky was just like that. She would have very joyfully given a flower to someone and given her sparkly smile and joy at the same time. Everyone was her friend – she never knew a stranger. As I remembered Becky as a child I remembered an incident one evening at church. Church was just beginning and the kids were out front playing on the lawn as our youth leaders started to round them up for their lesson time. The adults had just started our first song and I was at the piano – a very uncomfortable place for me. I was focused and concentrating on what I was playing trying to avoid mistakes when I became aware of a small blond streak racing up the center aisle of the church toward me. The next thing I knew Becky stood beside the piano and little pudgy three year old hands presented me a treasure of dandelions. The brightest blue eyes ever sparkled at me as she chortled “here Mommy”! This sweet moment was almost immediately followed by an apologetic youth worker capturing Becky and taking her off to the youth program.
This whole incident from the gift of today’s flower child to my memory of Becky came in a little flood of joy. Today’s flower was sweet and so was the memory that came in response. I was able to share the memory with my friend without tears! Today’s gift feels like a little victory – thank you Lord for this sweet episode. As I pray for my friends in tough situations I often pray that God will surprise them with joy in the midst of their difficult circumstances. Today I was surprised by joy!
“When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Psalms 126