Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fountain of Joy

 Have you ever gone digging under your bed for something?   Maybe you don't consider that good storage space, but in our house it's prize real estate for beloved sweatshirts, Marine Corps stuff, ancient bible study workbooks and those treasured high school class pictures that come rolled up in a tube.  I was on a hunt the other day for who knows what now, and I came across a journal I wrote in high school english class.  Rereading it reminded me in a fresh way that I have always enjoyed writing, sculpting words to paint pictures in my mind.

But I stumbled on something unexpected.  A poem. Called "Fountain of Joy."  It caught my breath because I don't remember who I was back in high school.  Yeah, I remember goofing around with Karen and Maria in a fabric store, not paying any attention while watching Plano football games, and our Millard Fillmore AP History club.  But my soul?  I probably would have told you even then that I'm on this planet because I'm a good listener and here to help people.  The reality was that I had no problem telling people what to do with their lives.  Now I'd call it controlling and arrogant wrapped up in a smile and a hug. 

So who was I?  (Funny, I ask the same question at 46.)  Reading this poem was like uncovering the dusty pages of a fairy tale and reading a beautiful story of a princess set free and then coming to the end and finding out the heroine was me all along. 

Fountain of Joy
Myriad colors etched with care 'cross the sky
softly wave goodbye to the moon and his companions.
The paint splashes on me, and awakening
I absorb the freshness of the new day,
thankful to be alive!

With God's truth in my soul, and His hand gently leading me,
each day is a new beginning.
Joy inexpressible overflows from my inner well,
spilling its radiance on those around,
as a spring gushes forth sweet water
to quench the earth's desire.

The glory of God's creation makes me stand in awe,
and feel special, just to be--

This worn out soul needed to be reminded of who I really am.  Why I'm really here.  The beauty I had long forgot.  So many times since high school I've wondered if anyone "saw" me.  The Avatar way.  My favorite line in that wild movie happened when they would greet each other saying, "I SEE you."  In to you.  Who you are.  All of you.  And I like it.

And here I was looking at a mirror of myself.  It was as if God was shouting, "I see you!  I always have.  And there was a time when you saw too.  Don't forget Elaine.  Oh please don't forget. I will remind you again and again.  For as long as it takes." 

Is it coincidence that my favorite entry in the devotional "Come Away My Beloved," is Turn Your Face Toward the Sunrise?  Or that me and my kids have always said "God's painting" when the sun rises and sets?  That He put our home facing east on a lake? That my favorite part in Narnia is when Aslan breathes on the icy statues?  That I have craved to know a gentle God?  and finally that when I asked God to reveal to me a picture of 'my greatness,' He flashed an image of a forceful fountain shooting into a starry sky onto my mind's eye. 

But honestly what touched me most, were the references to "joy" and "sweet."  Not this avatar, no way.  Really?  Seems like I fight so hard to grasp these, but they're just out of reach.  Then I remembered what others have prayed over me in recent years:  "Father let the sweetness in this family line break out," and "It is good. It's OK to cry it out.  For the joy of the Lord is your strength."  What's my first daughter's middle name? Joy.

Thank you Abba, that You are like that good friend who gently whispers my song back to me when I have forgotten.  Its been dust covered far too long.  Blow Your fresh Spirit of life on me!  Revive this ancient statue.

No comments: