linking with Five Minute Friday at katemotaung.com – write for five minutes on a given prompt, which today is “joy”
Joy can bloom in the unlikeliest of places. In fact, sometimes it seems that the deepest joy is seen in the midst of the most challenging circumstances. The hard things of life often lead to a deeper appreciation and joy in the simple things.
Tonight I had the privilege of being involved in an event at a local church- a gathering with food, music, dancing, chat and the chance to hear from the Bible. It sounds like a fairly typical event- except that this event was organised for adults with learning disabilities, some with physical disabilities as well.
The thing that always strikes me about this group of people is their joy. A fifty year old man bounds through the door, excited at the prospect that he might get to play Jesus in the drama. Another man comes with his tambourine, proudly telling anyone who will listen that he is part of the band. A girl in a party dress spins and dances across the floor as soon as the music starts to play, without a trace of self-consciousness.
Sometimes I feel sad for these people- sad that their disabilities hold them back from so many things in life. I take time to dance with some of the men who are there- nice-looking guys, but because of their disabilities having a normal relationship or family life is never going to be an option.
And yet their joy truly challenges and humbles me as I see them having fun together and celebrating one another’s achievements- one man taking any opportunity to pray for others.
It is a crazy and chaotic evening- but it is a place where people are accepted as they are, a place where everyone is welcome and everyone is equal.
It is a place of joy.